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Appellate criminal law barrister panel

This webpage provides information for:

  • Suitably qualified and experienced junior barristers who wish to apply for appointment to this panel of barristers to be briefed in appellate criminal law matters (the panel), and
  • Barristers currently appointed to the Appellate Criminal Law Barrister Panel (formerly known as the Specialist Barrister Panel (Criminal Appellate Matters)) who are required to apply for re-appointment.

The panel is open to junior counsel only.

The aim of the panel is to ensure the appointment of appropriately skilled and experienced barristers to be briefed in legally aided matters covered by the panel. This is reflected in the selection criteria for the panel.

Information package

The selection criteria have been revised following consultation with the NSW Bar Association and the Law Society of NSW. The selection criteria reflect the level of expertise that is required for appointment to the panel.

Applicants should carefully consider all documents contained in the information package before submitting an application.

There are two separate applications for appointment to the panel. It is important that the correct application form is submitted.

Current panel members applying for reappointment

Current panel members need to apply for reappointment if they wish to continue to be briefed in appellate criminal law matters.

These barristers will be contacted directly by email providing further information. They will be required to complete and submit the Reappointments online form.

Current panel members are required to demonstrate their active involvement in criminal appellate matters and provide a list of their most recent legally aided appeals that they were briefed in during their panel appointment. They are also required to provide details, plus any relevant documents, about three legally aided criminal appeals or three private criminal appeals.

For information about the selection criteria for reappointment, download the Information for Current Panel Members Applying for Reappointment (pdf 216 KB).

New applicants applying for appointment

Barristers who are not currently appointed to the panel must complete and submit the New Applicants online form.

New applicants must demonstrate extensive experience and high level skill in criminal law and advocacy. They are also required to demonstrate, through an example provided, excellent writing skills in being able to prepare merit advices and appeal grounds and submissions. One of the nominated referees will be given a copy of the written example and asked to comment.

For information about the selection criteria for new applicants, download the Information for New Applicants (pdf 265 KB).

Applicants are also expected to have read the following before applying:

It would be advisable for applicants to draft their responses on a word processing program before starting the online application form. After completing the draft, applicants can copy and paste their responses into the online form.

To view the documents in the information package, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader pdf.

Application form availability and due dates

Application must be lodged via the Panels Application Website. Application form availability and due dates can be viewed on the panel availability page.

Briefing a panel barrister in criminal appellate matters

The panel applies to the following matters:

  • Provision of advices on the merit of appeals to the Supreme Court including the CCA and the High Court;
  • Preparation and conduct of appeals before the CCA and the High Court;
  • Preparation and conduct of appeals to the Supreme Court;
  • Preparation of applications to review convictions and sentences pursuant to Part 7 and 8 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act.

Appointment to a panel does not confer an entitlement to work.

The policy requiring solicitors to instruct Public Defenders, if available, will continue to apply.

Panel barristers must be briefed in accordance with the Legal Aid NSW Grants Allocation Guidelines [as amended] unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The details of panel barristers will be included in the published list of barristers (Grants Online login required to access the list). Solicitors will select barristers from the published list for briefing in matters covered by the panel.

In appropriate matters and with prior approval, Senior Counsel may be briefed in matters covered by the panel.

For more information about Legal Aid policies, guidelines, relevant forms and papers/legal research in relation to appellate matters, go to the CCA practice resources webpage.

Fee rates

Panel barristers will be paid at the Criminal Appellate Matters rate as notified from time to time and in accordance with Legal Aid NSW policy.


If you have any enquiries about the panel or the application process, or about using the Application website, please contact the Professional Practices by e-mail at panels@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or on 02 9219 5662.

If you have any enquiries about briefing a barrister in criminal appellate matters, please contact the Grants Crime Team by e-mail at grants.crime@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or on 02 9219 5999.