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Policy Bulletin 5 / 17 (Criminal Law Guidelines - Criminal Appeals Review)

19 Oct 2017

​The Legal Aid NSW Board has approved changes to the Criminal Law Guidelines relating to appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Background

The Recommendations were made in the May 2017 ‘Report of the Review of Legal Aid NSW Higher Court Criminal Appeals Policies and Procedures’.

Two of the key Recommendations were to:

1. Create a new Criminal Law Guideline to reflect the proviso in section 6 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1912 when assessing reasonable prospects of success in appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal, and

2. Introduce an additional Guideline to assist with the consideration of the appropriate expenditure of limited public funds test in sentence appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

What has changed?
The change means that when Legal Aid NSW is assessing whether an appeal has reasonable prospects of success, the determining officer will take into account the proviso in section 6 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1912.

In determining whether a CCA sentence matter meets the appropriate expenditure of limited public legal aid funds, Legal Aid NSW will take into account whether a term of imprisonment has been imposed and whether the applicant’s non-parole will expire before the appeal is prepared, or whether there are exceptional circumstances.

A further change from the Recommendations is that the delegation for determining applications for a High Court appeal in a criminal law matter is with the Director Crime or Director Grants, and where an application is mainly based on a constitutional challenge, the determination will be made in consultation with the CEO.

Where do I find the changes?
See Criminal Law Guidelines at 1.14 and 1.2.2.

Commencement date
The amendments apply to applications for legal aid determined on or after 9 October 2017.

Contact for further information
Please contact the Legal Policy Branch for any questions about the change on legalpolicy@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or contact Aideen McGarrigle on 9219 570