Action 5: implement a new framework for managing major criminal trials

Action 5: implement a new framework for managing major criminal trials

On 1 February 2016 we introduced a new framework for managing major criminal cases.

A major criminal case will largely capture major criminal trials, defined as trials likely to last for more than 15 days (including severed trials less than 15 days that collectively equate to more than 15 days), and committals beyond four days in duration.

Why we implemented a new framework

A significant amount of Victoria Legal Aid funding is spent on major criminal trials. We have no way of predicting when we will have to fund expensive criminal cases. This makes it difficult to manage and financially plan for the demand for funding.

As a result, we must consider strategies which contain and, where possible, reduce the impact of major trials on our financial sustainability.

A new framework for managing major criminal cases will bring Victoria Legal Aid into line with interstate legal aid commissions, which have closer management of costs in major trials.

What happens next

The framework was implemented on 1 February 2016. Victoria Legal Aid will monitor and manage the effectiveness of the framework on a regular basis after this date. We will review the framework 12 months after its implementation.