Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 8 – stay applications under the Criminal Procedure Act

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will not make a grant of legal assistance to a person who is charged with a criminal offence under State law for any of the following:

  • an application to a court seeking an adjournment or stay of their case until they obtain legal representation, in reliance on the decision of the High Court in Dietrich v The QueenExternal Link


  • an application to a court for a permanent stay of proceedings (in reliance on the decision in Dietrich v The Queen or on any other principle), on the ground that the grant of assistance provided by VLA is inadequate


VLA will not make a grant of legal assistance for an application under section 197of the Actbecause to grant assistance would be inconsistent with the earlier decision of VLA to refuse assistance on the ground that:

  • the person could afford the services of a private lawyer


  • the person had no reasonable defence.

Documentary requirements

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

A lawyer on the section 29A practitioner panel seeking to apply for a stay or funding order under section 197 of the Act should contact Grants and Quality Assurance Unit to discuss the application at the earliest opportunity.

Reviewed 13 April 2023

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