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8. Merit Test

8.3. Merit Test B – Commonwealth family law matters

Merit Test B is the merit test applied in Commonwealth family law matters.

In applying the test, Legal Aid NSW must consider:

  • the legal and factual merits of the case and whether the applicant has reasonable prospects of success
  • whether a prudent self-funded litigant who was not eligible for legal aid would risk his or her funds in legal proceedings
  • whether it is appropriate to spend limited public funds on the case.

The reasonable prospects of success test

The reasonable prospects of success test is met if, on the information, evidence and material provided to the Commission, it appears that the proposed action, application, defence or response for which legal aid is sought is more likely than not to succeed.

The prudent self-funded litigant test

The prudent self-funding litigant test requires the Commission to be satisfied that a prudent self-funding litigant would risk his or her funds in proceedings for which legal aid is sought.

The appropriate spending of limited public funds test

The appropriate expenditure of public funds test requires Legal Aid NSW, in assessing an application, to consider the overall benefit to the applicant, or in some circumstances, the community, of spending limited legal aid funds on the proposed legal action.

Date Last Published: 23/12/2016