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1. Criminal law matters

1.8. Late applications

1.8.1 Late applications in Local Court defended matters

Where an application for legal aid is received within 14 days of the date set down for the hearing of the matter, legal aid is only available in exceptional circumstances.

In deciding whether there are exceptional circumstances in cases where there has been a late application for a Local Court defended matter, Legal Aid NSW will consider the following as being exceptional circumstances:

  • if the delay in applying for legal aid was not caused by the applicant, or
  • if the applicant for legal aid has genuinely exhausted all other available funds which has caused the delay in applying for aid.

Legal Aid NSW would then only grant aid if the legal practitioner applying on behalf of the applicant provides Legal Aid NSW with all the relevant documentation necessary to make a determination to grant aid.


1.8.2 Applications received within 30 days before a trial

If an application for legal aid for a criminal trial is received within 30 days before the trial is due to commence the legal practitioner for the legal aid applicant must:

  • serve written notice on the Registrar of the relevant court that an application for legal has been made, and
  • provide reasons to the Registrar for the delay in applying for legal aid. A copy of the Notice must be sent to Legal Aid NSW.

See Rule 45 of the New South Wales Professional Conduct and Practice Rules 2013 (Solicitors' Rules).


1.8.3 Late applications in District Court appeals

Where an application for legal aid is received within 14 days of the date set down for the hearing of the matter, legal aid is only available in exceptional circumstances.

In deciding whether there are exceptional circumstances in cases where there has been a late application for a District Court Appeal, Legal Aid NSW will consider the following as being exceptional circumstances:

  • if the delay was not caused by the applicant, or
  • if the applicant for legal aid has genuinely exhausted all other available funds and that has caused the delay in applying for legal aid.

Legal Aid NSW would then only grant aid if the legal practitioner applying on behalf of the applicant provides Legal Aid NSW with all the relevant documentation necessary to make a determination to grant aid.


1.8.4 Late applications in Local Court committal matters under s91 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986

Where an application for legal aid is received within 14 days of the date set down for the hearing of the matter, legal aid is only available in exceptional circumstances.

In deciding whether there are exceptional circumstances in cases where there has been a late application under s91 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW), Legal Aid NSW will consider the following as being exceptional circumstances:

  • if the delay was not caused by the applicant, or
  • if the applicant for legal aid has genuinely exhausted all other available funds and that has caused the delay in applying for legal aid.

Legal Aid NSW would then only grant aid if the practitioner applying on behalf of the applicant provides Legal Aid NSW with all the relevant documentation necessary to make a determination to grant aid.




Date Last Published: 01/12/2010
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