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Indictable criminal law barrister panel

This webpage provides information for suitably qualified and experienced junior barristers who wish to apply for appointment to the Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel to be briefed in non-complex indictable criminal law matters (the panel).

The panel is open to  junior counsel only.

About the panel

Legal Aid NSW is establishing a new panel for barristers who represent defendants in non-complex indictable criminal matters pursuant to a grant of legal aid.

This panel will apply to the following jurisdictions:

  • Local Court Committals
  • District Court Sentences
  • District Court Trials

Following the implementation of the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea reform on 30 April 2018, there are significant changes to the nature and extent of the work done by defence lawyers in indictable criminal matters at the Local Court stage. Further, there will be significant consequences for a client who is not adequately advised and represented at this stage of proceedings.

A key feature of the new Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel is to promote continuity of representation by barristers briefed in in legally aided matters covered by the panel.

The new panel will be operational from November 2018.

Information package

Current panel members on the Complex Criminal Law Barrister Panel and the Appellate Criminal Law Barrister Panel, who wish to be briefed in non-complex indictable criminal law matters, will need to apply for appointment to undertake work covered by the new panel. However they will not be required to address all the selection criteria.

New applicants who are not currently appointed to the Complex Criminal Law Barrister Panel or the Appellate Criminal Law Barrister Panel barrister must demonstrate the following in their applications:

  • excellent communication skills including the ability to prepare court documents, correspondence, submissions and other written materials;
  • an ability to conduct successful negotiations with prosecuting authorities in indictable matters; and
  • recent experience and knowledge of criminal law, procedure and evidence, and experience appearing in indictable matters in the Local, District and/or Supreme Courts, including trial matters.

One of the nominated referees will be asked to comment on one of the examples provided by applicants.

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

For information about the selection criteria for new applicants, download the Information for Applicants document (pdf 260KB).

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

The application form will be available via the Panels Application Website from 3 September 2018 and must be submitted by 24 September 2018.

Briefing a panel barrister in a non-complex indictable matter

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

Indictable Criminal Law Panel solicitors (along with in-house legal aid solicitors) assigned legal aid grants for non-complex indictable criminal law matters will be required to brief barristers appointed to the Indictable Criminal Law Panel if a Public Defender is not available. 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.

The Indictable Criminal Law Barrister panel does not apply to complex criminal law matters. The requirement to brief barristers appointed to the Complex Criminal Law Barrister Panel in complex criminal law matters, if a Public Defender is not available, will continue to apply.

Fee rates

Panel lawyers are paid at legal aid rates as notified from time to time and in accordance with Legal Aid NSW policy.

Enquiries

Panel enquiries

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

Grants Online enquiries

If you require assistance with registering for Grants Online to obtain a username and password, issues with your Grants Online username and password or updating your current registration details, contact the Legal Aid NSW Service Desk on 9219 5999 or at servicedesk@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.

Grants enquiries

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