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8. Merit Test

8.1. What is a merit test?


Once Legal Aid NSW has assessed an application for legal aid, and

  • has determined that it is the kind of legal matter that Legal Aid NSW funds, and
  • the applicant satisfies the relevant means test,

Legal Aid NSW must also consider in some cases whether the matter meets the relevant merit test.

The merit test looks at a number of issues including whether Legal Aid NSW considers that the applicant's matter has reasonable prospects of success.

The policies setting out the requirements that need to be met in criminal, family or civil law matters include whether a merit test is applied or not. See the following chapters for detail on how the merit test is applied in different types of matters.

How many merit tests are there?

There are two types of merit tests that Legal Aid NSW can apply.

The tests are:

Merit Test A which is applied in all civil and criminal law matters and State family law matters.

Merit Test B which is applied in Commonwealth family law matters.

Date Last Published: 23/12/2016