Guideline 1.1 – children under the age of 10 years and children aged 10 years or more whom the court determines are not mature enough to give instructions
Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may provide a grant of legal assistance to a who is the subject of an application in the Children's Court (Family Division) and is under the age of 10 years, or over the age of 10 years and the court has determined pursuant to section 524(1B) that the child is not sufficiently mature to instruct, where:
- a judicial officer has made an order under section 524(4) that it is in the child's best interests to be legally represented
- VLA considers it appropriate to provide assistance for the child.
Guideline 1.2 – children aged 10 years or older
VLA may provide a grant of legal assistance to a child who is the subject of an application in the Children's Court (Family Division), where the child is considered to be mature enough to provide instructions.
VLA will generally consider that a child aged 10 years or older is mature enough to give instructions.
- the child, or
- any spouse or de facto partner of the child.
Applications for children who are less than 10 years old must be referred to VLA by the court. Where aid is granted, VLA will allocate the matter to a lawyer on the Child Protection Panel.
Application form signature
As a formality, a child should make their mark on an application for a grant of legal assistance.
Simplified grants assessment process
Lawyers seeking a grant of legal assistance via the must submit an application via , only after ensuring that the documents set out under the relevant guideline in are retained on file (unless they are requested by VLA for assessment).
Reviewed 02 September 2022