Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of legal assistance to a person in relation to a civil law matter under Victorian law if all of the following apply:

  • the matter is a State civil law matter within the State civil law guidelines
  • usually, VLA considers the person cannot afford the full cost of private legal services (the means test)
  • taking all relevant factors into account, VLA considers it is reasonable to provide a grant of assistance (the State reasonableness test)
  • whether (on the various standards of proof existing within a particular guideline) the matter is likely to terminate in favour of the applicant.

State civil law guidelines

The State civil law guidelines set out when a grant of legal assistance may be made for the following State civil law matters being heard or determined in Victoria:

  • general civil claims
  • hearings at the Mental Health Tribunal
  • guardianship and administration cases in the Guardianship List at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  • supervised treatment order hearings at VCAT
  • coronial inquests
  • equal opportunity or discrimination cases
  • family violence protection order matters
  • personal safety intervention order matters
  • representation of a child in adoption proceedings
  • eviction cases at VCAT
  • civil cases at the Supreme Court
  • infringements cases
  • public interest and strategic litigation cases
  • witnesses appearing before the Chief Examiner or Examiner.

Reviewed 18 February 2022

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