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18. Forum Test and Reciprocity Test

18.2 Reciprocity Agreement between interstate legal aid commissions

18.2 Reciprocal agreement between interstate legal aid commissions

This is the Reciprocity Agreement introduced by National Legal Aid Commission Directors in January 1991.

18.2.1 Responsibility for assistance

Where the applicant for legal aid is resident in a State or Territory and the grant of aid relates to an action to be taken outside that State or Territory, the Forum Test is to be applied and the question of aid will be the sole responsibility of the legal aid commission in the State or Territory in which the matter is or should be proceeding. See Forum Test Guideline 11.3.1 for clarification on the interpretation of this policy.

18.2.2 Transfer of proceedings

Where a grant of legal aid has been made to a resident in a State or Territory and the proceedings are transferred to a court or tribunal of the equivalent jurisdiction outside that State or Territory, the grant of aid will continue to be the responsibility of the legal aid commission where aid has been granted.  That legal aid commission which will administer the grant of aid and will be responsible for any interstate agent's fees incurred, provided the legally assisted person was and remains a resident in the granting State or Territory. See Forum Test Guideline 11.3.2.

If the proceedings are transferred to a court of higher jurisdiction,  the applicant for legal aid must make a fresh application for legal aid to the legal aid commission in that State or Territory. See Forum Test Guideline 11.3.3.

Grants of aid will continue to be subject to the relevant legal aid commission’s eligibility tests.

18.2.3 Assisted person moves but proceedings not transferred

Where a person to whom legal aid has been granted ceases to reside in a State or Territory and the proceedings remain in that particular State or Territory, the grant of aid will continue to be the responsibility of the legal aid commission in the State or Territory where the proceedings remain.

18.2.4 Assisted person moves and proceedings transferred

Where a person to whom legal aid has been granted ceases to reside in a State or Territory and the proceedings are transferred to a court/tribunal outside that State or Territory, the grant of aid will be terminated and the assisted person will be required to re-apply for legal aid in the responsible state or territory. See Forum Test Guideline 11.3.2.

Grants of aid will be subject to the relevant legal aid commission’s eligibility tests.