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13. Legal Aid Review Committee Appeals

13.5. How to appeal to a Legal Aid Review Committee

13.5.1 Legal Aid NSW must notify an applicant or legally assisted person of their right of appeal

Legal Aid NSW must notify a legal aid applicant or legally assisted person of their right of appeal. The notice of right of appeal must be:

  • in writing, and
  • sent to the applicant or legally assisted person within 14 days of the date of the decision to which it relates.

See ss34(2) and (4),38(2) and (4), and 47(5) and (6) of the Act.

See Guideline 6.3 for information on the procedures that need to be followed in preparing an appeal for a Legal Aid Review Committee.


13.5.2 How an appeal is lodged

The legally assisted person or legal aid applicant must put the appeal in writing.

This can be done by either:

The appeal should:

  • set out the grounds on which they intend to appeal, and
  • include their legal aid reference number.

See Guideline 6.2.


13.5.3 Assistance with preparing appeals

In an in-house matter a legally assisted person or legal aid applicant may ask staff for help in preparing their appeal.

If possible, this help should be given by a legal officer at the office or section where the decision being appealed against was made, but not by the officer who made the original decision.

See Guideline 6.2.


13.5.4 Timeframe for appeals

Legal Aid NSW must receive the appeal application within 28 days, starting from the date the legally assisted person or legal aid applicant receives the notice of right of appeal.

The Legal Aid Review Committee may extend the time for an appeal if satisfied that there are special circumstances.

Examples of special circumstances

Special circumstances may exist for example, where the applicant or legally assisted person has a medical condition that prevents them from completing the appeal on time, or because the appeal timeframe coincided with a period of religious observance during which time the client was unable to attend to certain tasks and duties.

See Guideline 6.2.


13.5.5 When does an appeal lapse?

An appeal to the Legal Aid Review Committee lapses if after an appeal is lodged against a decision to:

  • refuse a legal aid application, or
  • terminate a grant of legal aid

Legal Aid NSW either:

  • grants the application on a redetermination, or
  • reinstates legal aid on a redetermination.

See Act chapter at s56 of the Act for further information on appeals.


Date Last Published: 22/12/2016