First stage – Consideration of material which the applicant must provide
The applicant must provide the following information:
• completed application form.
• written details of the problem in respect of which assistance is sought and all relevant documentation.
• the existence of any relevant court proceedings and the stage of preparation or hearing of such proceedings.
• the names of any legal representatives who have given advice or acted in respect of the matter.
• details of all applications for legal aid or other pro bono or legal assistance and the results of the applications.
• the extent to which the applicant is able to contribute to the cost of any assistance provided under the scheme.
• the extent of any work likely to be sought.
• verification of applicant’s income, for example a copy of their most recent tax return, financial or other records.
• any other documents required by the Bar Association to facilitate consideration of the application.
The following factors will also be taken into consideration:
• the financial resources available to the applicant.
• the effect that any provision of assistance might have on the resources available to the scheme.
• the nature and effect of any previous assistance and the conduct of the applicant in any previous or current application for assistance.
Applicants are required to cooperate reasonably at all time with the Bar Association in respect of their application and must be prepared to retain a solicitor in respect of the matter if considered necessary by the Bar Association.
Applicants must also be prepared to waive rights of confidentiality and/or privilege as required to enable officers of the Bar Association to make enquiries in relation to the matter the subject of the application.
If the application has any of the following characteristics then assistance would automatically not be granted:
• whether the applicant has been refused assistance by the Legal Aid Commission in respect of the matter upon the basis that the assistance lacks merit.
• whether the applicant has been refused assistance under a pro bono scheme offered by a court, The Law Society of New South Wales, the Sydney Region Aboriginal Legal Corporation Pro Bono Referral Scheme or firms of solicitors.
• an applicant whose gross household income exceeds $1,000 per week.
• an applicant who is a plaintiff in a personal injury or medical negligence case whether in the first instance or on appeal of any aspect of the matter.
• an application which relates to a neighbourhood dispute.
• an application which relates to an apprehended violence matter.
• an application which, in the opinion of the Bar Council, could be resolved using services provided by Community Justice Centres or any other alternative scheme of assistance.
• a matter which is not the subject of current court proceedings or foreshadowed litigation.
• a matter which seeks to overcome Dietrich type problems.
• a matter in which it is likely to be or has been set down for a long trial.