Major Criminal Cases Framework starts 1 February 2016

Major Criminal Cases Framework starts 1 February 2016

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Major Criminal Cases Framework will be implemented from 1 February 2016. Briefings will be scheduled soon.

The Major Criminal Cases Framework is the final action to be implemented as part of the Delivering high quality criminal trials project. Approximately 80% of people who face criminal trials in Victoria have their defence funded by Victoria Legal Aid. This means that a significant amount of taxpayer funds are spent on criminal jury trials, which cost more per client than any other form of legal representation.

Purpose of the Major Criminal Cases Framework

Currently we have no way of predicting when we will have to fund expensive criminal cases, and establishing a framework for these cases will help us manage and financially plan for demand. Improved management of major criminal cases can improve outcomes for legally aided accused, result in earlier, appropriate resolution, reduce trial days through well prepared and focussed advocacy, and reduce aborted trials and appealable errors.

The purpose of the framework is to:

  • ensure legally-aided representation in major criminal cases is of the highest possible standard, with a system to monitor and manage these cases
  • predict and financially plan for the demand on funding through earlier reporting of major criminal cases
  • ensure that major criminal cases are being conducted appropriately by experienced lawyers.

What is captured under the Major Criminal Cases Framework?

This framework will largely capture major criminal cases (trials likely to last more than 15 days) and committals beyond four days. It will apply to private practitioners and our in-house practice.

Next steps

Victoria Legal Aid will hold briefing for affected practitioners before the implementation date.  

Contact

For more information about the Major Criminal Cases Framework, please contact:

Elizabeth Le
Email: majorcriminalcases@vla.vic.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9606 5224