I have a problem with an independent children’s lawyer

I have a problem with an independent children’s lawyer

The role of an independent children's lawyer

Before you make a complaint about an independent children's lawyer (ICL) it is important to understand their role and consider what you want to achieve by making a complaint. You might be better off putting your concerns directly to the court.

The court appoints an ICL. Victoria Legal Aid will then choose an independent children's lawyer and decides about the grant of legal aid. Lawyers acting as ICLs under a grant of legal aid are required to comply with Victoria Legal Aid’s practice standards.

More information about the role of an ICL:

Types of complaints against an independent children's lawyer

Victoria Legal Aid can investigate a complaint about an ICL’s compliance with our practice standards. It is unlikely that Victoria Legal Aid will take any action if your complaint is simply that you disagree with the views of the ICL, or that you think the ICL should have exercised their professional judgement differently. The way in which the ICL acts may not always meet with the approval of the parties or the child but this does not mean that the ICL has failed in their professional responsibilities.

If you disagree with the recommendations of the independent children's lawyer​

The ICL’s recommendations are part of the evidence that the court will consider when making a decision in your case. If you disagree with the conclusions or recommendations of your ICL, you should make your own submissions and provide your own evidence to the court, as part of your preparation for your case. You should speak to your lawyer about this. If you don’t have a lawyer, see How to run your family law case.

If you want an independent children's lawyer removed from your case

You can make an application to the court for the ICL's removal. You should speak to your lawyer about this (if you have one).

If you are a child and you are not happy with your lawyer

Please contact us using our form at the bottom of the page or contact our Complaints and Statutory Compliance team on (03) 9280 3789 or email complaints@vla.vic.gov.au

If you are a parent and you think an independent children's lawyer’s conduct breaches their professional obligations or our practice standards

Please contact us using our form at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you may make a complaint about the lawyer directly to the Legal Services Board and Commissioner. The Legal Services Board and Commissioner regulates the legal profession and enforces the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015 and other professional standards.

Make a complaint about an independent children's lawyer

Use the following online form to make a complaint to Victoria Legal Aid if you believe the ICL's conduct is in breach of our practice standards.

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