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Annual Report 2019 - 2020

Appealing decisions about legal aid

Independent reviews of decisions made by Legal Aid NSW ensure procedural fairness for our clients.

Six independent Legal Aid Review Committees review decisions made by Legal Aid NSW to ensure procedural fairness to our clients. Their work is facilitated by the Legal Aid Review Committee Secretariat in the Legal Aid NSW In-house Counsel Unit.

The committees are established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW). They determine appeals relating to legal aid applications that have been refused and grants of legal aid that have been terminated. The work of the committees is integral to the Legal Aid NSW appeal process. Committee members helped deliver excellent outcomes for Legal Aid NSW clients in 2019–2020, and their work builds confidence in the integrity of our decision-making.

Legal Aid Review Committee members 2019–2020

Legal Aid Review Committee One
  • Lucy Pinnock
  • Brett Thomson
  • Helen Sims (until January 2020)
  • Claudia Pendlebury (from April 2020)
  • Jeremy Styles
  • Jane Sanders
  • Andrew Boog
  • Maria Good
  • Anna Buduls
Legal Aid Review Committee Two
  • Peter Robinson (until May 2020)
  • Kathleen Hainsworth
  • Stephanie Koch
  • Simon Buchen SC
  • Paul Blacket SC
  • Anne Healey
  • Pauline Mueller
  • Rita Zammit
Legal Aid Review Committee Three
  • Kim Garling (until September 2019)
  • Alexandra Brown
  • Ellyse McGee (from December 2019)
  • Lucy Boyle (from December 2019)
  • Pauline David
  • Jon Prowse
  • Elena Berrocal Capdevila (from December 2019)
  • Brian Dalton (from December 2019)
  • Miranda Tunica (until November 2019)
Family Law Legal Aid Review Committee One
  • Penny Csenderits
  • Anthea Tomlin
  • Leanne Spencer
  • Clyllyn Sperling
  • Cassie Banks
  • Tessa Kelman (until April 2020)
Family Law Legal Aid Review Committee Two
  • Nick Mitrevski
  • Gemma Slack-Smith
  • Johanna Geddes
  • David Nguyen
  • Mark Whelan
  • Paul Guterres
  • Melanie Faithfull
  • Kathleen Lamoureux
Family Law Legal Aid Review Committee Three
  • Michael Granziera
  • Cheryl Drummy
  • Nicole Hailstone
  • Terese Messner
  • Martha Barnett
  • Kayte Lewis
  • Stephen van der Mye
  • Stephen Stuart

Significant increase in non-appellable matters

We recorded an increase in non-appellable matters and a drop in deferred appeals this year compared with the previous year. This may be attributed to organisation-wide participation in continuous business and quality improvements to Legal Aid Review Committee processes and reporting.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • We will continue to implement reforms to Legal Aid Review Committee processes.
  • We will continue to review our compliance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW), the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW), to ensure that we are meeting our obligations.
  • We will develop a range of information resources to provide a first response to recurring legal issues affecting solicitors across the organisation.

Appeals and outcomes 2019–2020

Law typeAllowedDisallowedDeferredNot appellableWithdrawnTotal appealsAppeals allowed
Civil11137031240.8%
Criminal101771296213163.2%
Family3449618075556.1%
Total457863796319954.5%

Appeals and outcomes over five years

Review outcome2015–162016–172017–182018–192019–20
Appeal allowed6065664645
Appeal disallowed879878822882786
Deferred1419145137
Not appellable3658487296
Withdrawn18029241231
Total1,1691,0499741,063995