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8. Merit Test

8. Merit Test

The purpose of the Merit Test is to assess whether it is reasonable in all the circumstances to grant legal aid.

In deciding whether it is reasonable Legal Aid NSW will take into account amongst other issues:

  • the nature and extent of
    • any benefit that the applicant might expect to gain by receiving legal aid, or
    • any disadvantage or harm to the applicant that might result from being refused legal aid, and
  • whether the applicant has reasonable prospects of success.

Note: The Merit Test has additional criteria in certain state matters such as coronial inquest matters.

Note: See Criminal Law Guideline 1.14 for guidance on considering whether there are reasonable prospects of success for an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Date last published: 10/01/2022