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Annual Report 2010 - 2011


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Legal advice provided to a client by Legal Aid NSW lawyers and LawAccess NSW. Includes advice given over the telephone.

Applications approved/granted

Applications for legal aid that have been approved within this reporting period. Includes authorisations under s33 of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979.

Barrister panel

A Specialist Barrister Panel was developed to provide advices to Legal Aid NSW on the merit of criminal appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) and the High Court; and prepare and conduct appeals before the Supreme Court, the CCA and the High Court.

Applications determined

Applications that have been approved or refused within the reporting period.

Applications received

Applications for legal aid received within this reporting period.

Applications refused

Applications for legal aid that have been refused within this reporting period.

Applications undetermined

Applications for legal aid where no determination has yet been made, including applications which are pending (e.g. while the client is asked to provide further material in order to determine the application).


Refers to legal services performed by private lawyers.


The Legal Aid NSW grants management system.


The Legal Aid NSW case management system.


Civil, family, and criminal matters for which legal aid is granted. Does not include duty appearances.

Community legal education (CLE)

Information sessions about legal aid and the law given to the public, professional groups, community organisations and agencies.

Current applications on hand

Applications for legal aid which have been granted but not finalised by the end of the reporting period.


A person who is financially dependent on the legal aid client, whether or not they reside with the legal aid client.

Determination date

In casework matters, the date when an application is approved or refused.

Disability Action Plan (DAP)

A plan of action by Legal Aid NSW to provide inclusive services to people with a disability.

Duty services

Legal advice and representation provided at a court or tribunal for some matters not requiring a grant of aid.


Equal Employment Opportunity.

Family dispute resolution (FDR)

A dispute resolution conference (mediation) facilitated by a neutral third party, that resolves disputes by consensus.

Family law conference

A meeting/mediation session between the people involved in a family law dispute, arranged by Legal Aid NSW.


Full-time equivalent. Represents the number of staff positions equating to 35 hours per week.

Grants of aid

See Applications approved/granted.


General information services about the justice system or information about legal aid services provided by Legal Aid NSW staff and Law Access NSW.


Refers to any legal or other service provided by employees of Legal Aid NSW.

Means test

Income and assets test used to determine eligibility for legal aid. Applies to both State and Commonwealth matters.

Merit test

Test used to determine the eligibility for aid. There are different merit tests for State and Commonwealth matters.

Minor assistance

Work done in advice sessions (e.g. simple correspondence, phone call) but not where a formal legal aid application is submitted.

Multicultural Action Plan (MAP)

A plan showing the actions we are taking to enhance and promote multiculturalism within Legal Aid NSW.

Reporting period

From 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.

Social exclusion/inclusion

A situation in which some members of society do not feel part of society because of a range of factors, such as poverty and low income, unemployment, poor skills, isolation, poor health, family breakdown, crime, inadequate housing. Lack of access to reliable legal assistance can be a contributing factor in creating and maintaining social exclusion.


Legal Aid NSW records management system.


Financial glossary

Public purpose fund

The Public Purpose Fund has been established under the Legal Profession Act 2004, (the Act). The fund is administered by the Law Society of NSW under the direction of its four trustees, three of whom are appointed by the Attorney General, and the fourth being the Director General of the Attorney General’s Department. Payments from this fund may be made in respect of costs and expenses incurred by the Law Society, a Council (the Law Society Council or the Bar Council) and the Legal Services Commissioner in connection with the exercise of their functions under the Act.

Payments may also be made from the Fund for certain purposes, including the supplementation of the Legal Aid Fund, the Fidelity Fund and the Law Foundation Fund. Payments may also be made for legal education programs, law reform and improving access to legal information for the people of NSW.

Client contributions

In many cases Legal Aid NSW requires an initial contribution based on income and assets from a person granted legal aid. Certain cases are exempt.

At the conclusion of the case or the legal aid grant, Legal Aid NSW may recover the total costs of a matter where the applicant has recovered a sum of money or other asset or there is a substantial improvement in their financial circumstances.

Community programs

Legal Aid NSW provides funding for the Community Legal Centres Funding Program and the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program (see Community programs, Appendix 5 & 6).