Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 7.5 – appeal against sentence in the Court of Appeal


Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of legal assistance for an appeal against sentence where:

  • the applicant was sentenced to a term of immediate imprisonment or detention (unless the applicant is a child)


  • there are reasonable grounds for the appeal


  • there is a reasonable prospect of the appeal resulting in a lesser total effective sentence, youth detention order, non-parole period or period prior to recognisance release order (unless the applicant is a child)

'Child' means a child as defined in section 3(a) of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)External Link .

Manifest excess

Where the applicant relies upon the ground of manifest excess as their sole ground of appeal, VLA may make a grant of legal assistance for leave to appeal where both:

  • the above requirements are met
  • VLA is satisfied that the sentence was wholly outside the range available to the sentencing judge.

Documentary requirements

Applications under this guideline are only made by the standard grants assessment process.

A lawyer on the section 29A practitioner panel seeking a grant of legal assistance should submit an application via ATLASExternal Link for assessment, including the listed documents:


  • if they are available:
    • the advice of trial or appellate counsel
    • the relevant court transcripts and judgments.
  • where manifest excess is the sole ground relied upon:
    • material demonstrating how the trial or plea judge gave insufficient weight to particular factors in mitigation
    • such that the sentence fell wholly outside the sentencing range available in that particular case
    • Sentencing Advisory Council statistics, and
    • any comparable cases.

Reviewed 19 April 2023

In this section