Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of legal assistance for leave to appeal against conviction or conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal where:
- the applicant was sentenced to a term of immediate imprisonment or detention (unless the applicant is a child)
- there is a reasonable prospect that the court would reduce the total effective sentence, youth detention order, non-parole period or period prior to recognisance release order (unless the applicant is a child)
- there are reasonable grounds for the appeal, which is demonstrated by either:
- the verdict of the jury being unreasonable or not supported having regard to the evidence
- a substantial miscarriage of justice was caused by an error or irregularity in or in relation to the trial
- a substantial miscarriage of justice was caused by any other reason
- it is reasonable to provide legal assistance, having regard to all of the circumstances including any benefit or detriment that may accrue to the applicant or to the public.
Assistance will only be approved for counsel to appear at an oral hearing of the leave to appeal application in exceptional circumstances.
'Child' means a child as defined in section 3(a) of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic).
Where the court elects to bypass the leave stage, practitioners must submit an application for an extension of legal assistance for the substantive appeal in ATLAS and attach the following:
- the written case;
- the respondent’s (prosecution’s) submissions; and
- any additional material (including written advice) to demonstrate how the applicant satisfies Guidelines 7.5 or 7.7.
If leave to appeal is not granted by a single judge, please refer to Guideline 7.8 – elections to renew leave to appeal against conviction and/or sentence in the Court of Appeal.
Applications under this guideline are only made by the standard grants assessment process.
A member of the section 29A practitioner panel seeking a grant of legal assistance should submit an application via for assessment, including the listed documents and information:
- relevant proof of means
- whether the proposed appeal is a second appeal under Part 6.4 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, and
- if and when these become available:
- the advice of trial or appellate counsel
- the relevant court transcripts and judgments
- copies of, or a statement setting out the nature of, the fresh evidence.
Reviewed 20 February 2022