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Policy Bulletin 1 / 17 (Eligibility Policy Review - Stage 1 changes)

24 Jan 2017

As part of the Strategic Planning and Policy Plan for 2016-2017, the Legal Policy Branch is undertaking a comprehensive 4-stage review of the Legal Aid NSW eligibility policies as published on Policy Online.

Background

As part of the Strategic Planning and Policy Plan for 2016-2017, the Legal Policy Branch is undertaking a comprehensive 4-stage review of the Legal Aid NSW eligibility policies as published on Policy Online. Having a clear articulation of eligibility policies is essential for Legal Aid NSW to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged members of the community.

The primary objective of Stage 1 is to enhance the usability of the policies through the way in which they are set out on Policy Online. There are no amendments to the Policy at this stage. Policy changes will take place in the later stages of the review following a comprehensive consultation process.

The Stage 1 changes have recently been given CEO approval and are now available on Policy Online.

What has changed?

Changes have been made to all the chapters of the ‘Policy’ section of Policy Online, with the exception of the Act Chapter (Chapter 2) and the Delegation Instrument (Chapter 3). This encompasses the chapters concerned with eligibility (Chapters 4-10) as well as those concerned with the administration of legal aid (Chapters 11-19).
The key Stage 1 changes are as follows:

  • updating references to legislation, particularly in criminal law policy 
  • updating outdated terminology, for example in family law child support policy - see 5.8. Child support and child maintenance matters - Legal Aid NSW
  • ensuring consistency between related chapters, particularly in relation to the means test chapter following the introduction of the new contributions policy in 2015 -  see    7. Means Test - Legal Aid NSW
  • repairing broken links and making the way in which information is linked to within and outside policy chapters more consistent   
  • re-structuring sections of policies in a way that is easier to follow and apply, for example, family law parenting and property policies - see 5.3. Parenting matters - Legal Aid NSW, 5.6. Property settlement matters - Legal Aid NSW
  • Streamlining the way in which the eligibility tests are set out across family, criminal and civil law chapters.  

 Where do I find the changes?

 See Policy Online - Legal Aid NSW.

Commencement date

 All of the changes will be live by 1 February 2017.

Justine Field

Policy Project Officer I Legal Policy I Strategic Planning and Policy