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1. Criminal law matters

1.10. Statutory and administrative financial assistance schemes by the Commonwealth Attorney-General - Administered by the Legal Aid Branch

1.10.1 Financial assistance direct from Commonwealth Attorney General

Financial assistance is available direct from the Commonwealth Attorney-General in limited categories of proceedings. This assistance is administered by the Legal Aid Branch and is provided under a number of statutory and administrative (non-statutory) schemes.

1.10.2 Statutory Schemes providing financial assistance direct from Attorney-General

There are a number of Statutory Schemes through which the Commonwealth Government provides financial assistance to people requiring help to address matters involving Commonwealth law, or in circumstances that give rise to a special Commonwealth interest and legal aid is not available.

Information about the schemes can be viewed on the Federal Attorney-General's website.

1.10.3 Native Title Funding Schemes available through the Commonwealth Attorney-General

Financial assistance may be provided to a party or a person who intends to become a party to an enquiry, mediation or proceedings relating to native title, including an Indigenous land-use agreement or an agreement about certain rights of access for traditional purposes, or who are in dispute with another person about such rights of access.

For information about the Scheme see the Federal Attorney General website.

1.10.4 If legal aid is available from Legal Aid NSW apply first to Legal Aid NSW

In considering whether to make a grant of aid Legal Aid NSW may take into account whether funding is available from another Commonwealth scheme such as the Commonwealth Public Interest and Test Cases Scheme. Cases seeking special funding for a public interest or test case under a law of the Commonwealth must be referred to the Legal Aid Branch.

Where Legal Aid NSW refuses to grant legal aid and/or a Legal Aid Review Committee dismisses any appeal against such a refusal, the application for legal aid is to be referred by Legal Aid NSW to the Legal Aid Branch for consideration.

For information on public interest and test cases see Guidelines at page 12: Guidelines for Provision of Assistance by the Commonwealth for Legal and Related Expenses under the Commonwealth Public Interest and Test Cases Schemes

1.10.5 Applications to the Legal Aid Branch and criteria for determination of applications

Address applications under these schemes to:

Assistant Secretary

Legal Aid Branch

Financial Assistance Section

Attorney General's Department

National Circuit


Telephone: (02) 6250 6770

The criteria for determining applications under these schemes vary considerably. For the guidelines appropriate to each scheme and information regarding costs contact the Legal Aid Branch.

See Attorney-General's website.

1.10.6 Time limits

Applicants who have applied to Legal Aid NSW are to be advised to contact the Legal Aid Branch as soon as possible because time limits may apply.

Date Last Published: 01/12/2010
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