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Summary criminal law panel

This webpage provides information for:

  • Lawyers who wish to apply for appointment to the Summary Criminal Law Panel (formerly the General Criminal Law Panel) (the panel) for the representation of defendants and appellants in summary criminal matters throughout NSW; and
  • Lawyers currently appointed to the panel who are required to apply for re-appointment.

About the panel

The panel will apply to summary matters in the following jurisdictions:

  • Local Court for duty appearances, Bails, Hearings and Sentences
  • District Court Appeals

This panel is only for the direct legal representation of legally aided clients.

Barristers may be appointed to the panel to directly represent legally assisted clients in matters covered by this panel. For direct representation matters, barristers must ensure compliance with the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules, in particular Rule 22.

Where a barrister appointed to the panel receives an offer of an assignment on a direct access basis from Legal Aid NSW, the barrister may decline to accept the assignment if it is inappropriate to do the work without the involvement of an instructing solicitor.

Applicants with less than 12 months post admission experience in criminal law will be required as a condition of appointment to enter into an undertaking to be supervised by a senior solicitor or barrister with extensive criminal law experience for a period of 12 months.

Grants of legal aid in criminal law matters

Appointment to the panel does not confer an entitlement to work. Grants are assigned in accordance with the Legal Aid NSW Grants Allocation Guidelines.

Only a very limited number of offers are made via Grants Online for the assignment of legal aid matters to panel lawyers. This is because most matters are allocated either to the Legal Aid NSW Criminal Law Division or the panel lawyer who submitted the legal aid application on behalf of the client.

Offers that are made via Grants Online are usually matters that are not able to be conducted by the Criminal Law Division and where the initial application was not submitted online by a panel lawyer.

Duty work

Duty work at Local Courts serviced by salaried Legal Aid NSW solicitors can only be undertaken by lawyers appointed to the Legal Aid NSW Back Up Duty Scheme. This is a separate selection process to the panel and is managed by the Legal Aid NSW Criminal Law Division.

Lawyers who are appointed to the panel and rostered to perform duty work at courts not serviced by salaried Legal Aid NSW solicitors must comply with the Local Court Solicitor Duty Scheme Guidelines (as amended).

Panel lawyers who are appointed to the Back Up Duty Scheme for Courts Serviced by a Legal Aid NSW Office must comply with the  Back Up Duty Scheme for Courts Serviced by a Legal Aid NSW Office Guidelines.

Panel information package

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

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

Application form availability and due dates

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

Please note there are two application forms as follows:

  • Reappointments - This application is only for current panel members who have been advised by Legal Aid NSW that they must apply for reappointment to the panel.
  • New Applicants

It is important that the correct application form is submitted.

Panel enquiries

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.