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Policies

4. Criminal Law Matters – when legal aid is available

4.16. Children's criminal matters

For further information on children's criminal matters see Legal Aid NSW Children's Legal Service.

4.16.1 Criminal matters in the Children's Court

Legal aid is available to children for State and Commonwealth criminal matters in the  Children's Court.

For legal aid to be granted the following test must be satisfied:

There is no means, merit or unpaid contributions test applied.

Note: This policy includes children who are defendants in Apprehended Personal Violence Orders.

4.16.2 Restorative Justice Programs –Youth Conferencing

Legal aid is available to a young person who is participating in a restorative justice program where the court makes an order in relation to:

For legal aid to be granted the following tests must be satisfied:

  • the Availability of Funds Test, and
  • Legal Aid NSW is satisfied that it is appropriate in the particular circumstances of the matter that the applicant has legal representation.

There is no means, merit or unpaid contributions test applied.

4.16.3 Children as informants in the Children's Court

Legal aid is available to children acting as informants in criminal matters (other than in apprehended domestic violence proceedings) in the Children's Court.

For legal aid to be granted in these types of matters the following tests must be satisfied:

  • the Availability of Funds Test, and
  • Legal Aid NSW is satisfied that either:
    • there is a real danger to the applicant's person or family, or
    • there are exceptional circumstances.

There is no means, merit or unpaid contributions test applied.

Who can be a child informant?

When considering applications for legal aid from child informants, Legal Aid NSW must be satisfied that the child is permitted under the relevant legislation to bring those proceedings on his/her own behalf.

Example: A child under sixteen (16) years is not able to commence proceedings for an apprehended violence order on his/her own behalf.

4.16.4 Appeals to the District Court

Legal aid is available to children for appeals to the District Court from a magistrate's decision.

For legal aid to be granted in these matters the following tests must be satisfied:

Legal Aid officers authorised under the Delegation Instrument can determine these grants of aid.

4.16.5 Appeals from the Local Court to the Supreme Court

Legal aid is available for appeals from the Local Court to the Supreme Court.

For legal aid to be granted in these types of appeals the following tests must be satisfied:

Legal Aid officers authorised under the Delegation Instrument can determine these grants of aid.

4.16.6 Committal proceedings

Legal aid is available to children for committal proceedings.

For legal aid to be granted in these matters the following tests must be satisfied:

4.16.7 Indictable and sentence matters in the Supreme and District Court

Legal aid is available to children for trials and sentence matters in the District and Supreme Court.

For legal aid to be granted in these matters the following tests must be satisfied:

4.16.8 Appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal and High Court

Legal aid is available to children for appeals to the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court.

For legal aid to be granted in these matters the following tests must be satisfied:

Legal Aid NSW officers authorised under the Delegation Instrument can determine applications for grants of aid for appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal and appeals to the High Court.


Date Last Published: 20/01/2018