Indictable Crime Panel

Indictable Crime Panel

We invite practitioners to apply for inclusion on the section 29A Indictable Crime Panel. This panel includes an optional subset for youth crime.

The panel is an exclusive panel. This means that firms and practitioners will need to be on this panel to receive grants of legal assistance for indictable crime matters.

Under the panel application process, both firms and individual practitioners must apply.

Before you apply

Practitioners must read the Information package: Indictable Crime Panel and Youth Crime subset (pdf, 892.5 KB) or accessible Word versions before submitting an application. 

What matters this panel covers

The Indictable Crime Panel is a practitioner panel under section 29A of the Legal Aid Act 1978 covering:

  • committal proceedings
  • trials in the County Court and Supreme Court
  • County Court and Supreme Court pleas
  • criminal matters in the Court of Appeal and the High Court
  • interlocutory appeals to the Court of Appeal
  • County Court breach proceedings
  • bail applications and variations in the Magistrates’, County and Supreme courts
  • change of plea
  • judicial review of a magistrate’s decision
  • hearings under the Crime (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997.

Only Level 1 Panel Certifiers on the Indictable Crime Panel can certify grants for the following matters involving adult clients:

  • any indictable crime matter involving a sexual offence (as defined in Section 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009)
  • indictable offences under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
  • Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 matters
  • any summary crime matter (as set out for the Summary Crime Panel).
  • major criminal cases (this includes criminal trials that are likely to last more than 15 days, severed trials less than 15 days that collectively equate to more than 15 days and contested committals beyond 4 days)

Youth Crime subset matters

Practitioners who are approved as Panel Certifiers on the Youth Crime subset of the Indictable Crime panel may also act in:

  • proceedings in the Criminal Division of the Children’s Court
  • any criminal law matter from the Indictable Crime Panel list above involving a child (as defined in the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005).

Only Level 1 Panel Certifiers on the Indictable Crime Panel, who are also approved for the Youth Crime Subset can certify grants for any criminal matter involving a sexual offence involving child clients that is uplifted to the County or Supreme courts.

Practitioners must be approved for both the Indictable Crime Panel and the Youth Crime subset to be able to act in these matters.

How panel membership works

Victoria Legal Aid’s panel membership model includes a role for both firms and individual practitioners. Panel membership is by firm, except for the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel. 

Pursuant to section 29A(7) of the Legal Aid Act all partners, directors and employees of a panel firm are also considered to be included on a relevant panel, and can work on legally aided matters. However, under the new model only practitioners who have been approved as Panel Certifiers can receive grants of legal assistance on behalf of a client. As such, for a firm’s membership to be active, individual practitioners employed by the firm must be approved as Panel Certifiers. 

Full details of the panel membership model can be found in the Information package: Indictable Crime Panel and Youth Crime subset (pdf, 892.5 KB).

Entry requirements

It is essential that firms and practitioners are familiar with the entry requirements, including the assessment guidelines supporting the requirements, before applying for the panel.

The assessment guidelines included with the entry requirements provide essential information about how we will assess applicants against the entry requirements. Firms and practitioners who are not able to meet the entry requirements may be eligible for an exemption.

Firm and individual entry requirements and information about the assessment process and exemptions to entry requirements are available in the Information package: Indictable Crime Panel and Youth Crime subset (pdf, 892.5 KB).

When to apply

Firms and private practitioners can apply at any time, as the Indictable Crime Panel is continuously open.

Please note we are preparing to review its Section 29A Panels application process. To accommodate this review, any applications received and assessed after 1 August 2017 will be approved for 12 months only. Practitioners approved during this time will be contacted after the review has been completed to identify if further information is required to extend the period of approval.

Application forms

Private law firms employing one or more private practitioner applicants must submit a completed Section 29A panels firm application form. Only one firm application is required per firm regardless of how many private practitioner applicants it employs.

Private practitioners employed by the firm who are seeking approval as Panel Certifiers must each complete and submit a Indictable Crime Panel application form (pdf, 152.82 KB) and a Youth Crime Subset application form (pdf, 117.74 KB) if seeking approval on the Youth Crime subset of the Indictable Crime Panel.

Completed forms must be submitted via email to panels@vla.vic.gov.au. Paper applications will not be accepted.

For further information about the application form and process, please refer to the Information package: Indictable Crime Panel and Youth Crime subset (pdf, 892.5 KB).

For an alternative accessible format of the Indictable Crime Panel forms please contact us at panels@vla.vic.gov.au.

Contact

If you would like more information, please contact:

Panels Co-ordinator
Email: panels@vla.vic.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9606 5264