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Policy Bulletin 2021 / 6 (Extended Legal Assistance – Corrections to the Child Protection Register)

9 Aug 2021

The Legal Aid NSW Board approved expanding the Extended Legal Assistance (ELA) service to include assistance to people seeking to correct errors in their registration status on the NSW Child Protection Register.

Background

In July 2018, the Legal Aid NSW Board approved the implementation of a new Service Type, Extended Legal Assistance (ELA). ELA is an extended legal service which includes taking carriage of a matter (or multiple matters) in an ongoing, representative capacity, but due to the nature of the matter/s it does not proceed to a court or tribunal, or the lawyer is not required to appear before a court or tribunal. ELA is provided only on an inhouse basis.

The Child Protection (Offender Registration) Act 2000 establishes the Child Protection Offender Register.  An independent review by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC), named Operation Tusket, found that there have been significant errors in relation to the Register, including incorrect decisions by the NSW Police Force about which persons should be included on the Register, and incorrect decisions about the length of a person’s reporting period.

What is the new ELA?

ELA is now available to assist people seeking to correct errors in their registration status on the NSW Child Protection Register.  For details of the policy, see Policy Online:

The ELA will cover an initial review of an affected person’s criminal history and representations to NSW Police if error is found.  This work will usually be done by a criminal lawyer, but the ELA is also available to Civil lawyers.

Commencement Date

The change applies to applications determined on or after 9 August 2021.

Contact for further information

Please contact the Client Eligibility Unit for any questions about the changes at jasmine.stanton@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or 9219 5818.