Legal Aid COVID-19 assistance measures
As a result of recent engagement with Legal Aid NSW led by the Association’s Legal Aid Committee, the New South Wales Bar Association is pleased to announce the following for members’ information:
- In criminal, family and civil matters Legal Aid NSW has agreed to process any requests for extensions for mentions and conferences within 3-5 days of receipt of the request by Legal Aid NSW. Legal Aid NSW has noted that this has already been occurring in criminal matters and that it does not have any requests for extensions for mentions and conferences older than five days.
Legal Aid NSW has encouraged any barrister who has an outstanding extension request for mentions or conferences to contact the solicitor through whom the extension was requested and confirm when the extension was submitted.
If members have an extension request for a mention or conference during lockdown while trials are on hold, and which is outstanding after five days of receipt by Legal Aid NSW, they should contact Jocelyn Flanagan, Director Grants at Legal Aid NSW, on 9219 5672.
- Legal Aid NSW has also agreed to process requests for preparation and refreshers in criminal, family and civil matters expeditiously.
If members feel that this is not occurring, again they should first contact the solicitor through whom the request was made and confirm when the extension was submitted.
If members have a request for preparation or refreshers during lockdown while trials are on hold, and which is outstanding after five days of receipt by Legal Aid NSW, they should contact Jocelyn Flanagan, Director Grants at Legal Aid NSW, on 9219 5672.
Legal Aid NSW has indicated that, where trials have been vacated due to COVID-19 and a new trial date is set, refreshers for preparation will be available to be claimed by members from a date six months before the new trial date. This is to assist members to spread the workload and any financial loss experienced from the trials being postponed during lockdown.
Where members have been required to do additional work as a result of compliance with District Court Criminal Practice Note 22, they are encouraged to submit an extension request for that work.
The Association is continuing to engage with Legal Aid NSW regarding other possible measures to assist members during these difficult times.
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