Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Criminal law resources

Our lawyers have written a selection of materials, including conference papers, articles, guides and checklists, which may be useful references for other lawyers.

New fees for criminal matters affected by COVID-19

We have introduced additional fees for new procedures implemented by the courts as part of their COVID-19 response. Read about Criminal law fees due to COVID-19

Read Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Practice Direction 17 of 2020 and our fees to find out when VLA will pay a special mention fee for summary matters are hearings.

Read about other changes to our services due to COVID-19.

Court of Appeal merits advice

Court of Appeal merits advice template
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Guidance note – conviction appeal merits advice
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Guidance note – sentence appeal merits advice
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Guidance note – High Court appeal merits advice
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Guidance note – public interest and strategic litigation
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Criminal trial quality tools and checklists

A working group, including lawyers from private practice and community legal centres, has collaborated to develop these tools as part of the delivering high quality criminal trials consultation:

Brief analysis and case strategy
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Committal report and trial preparation plan
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Brief and handover to counsel
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Indictable checklists for non-sexual offences

Allocation checklist
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After brief served checklist
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Before committal checklist
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After committal to trial checklist
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Plea checklist
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Pre-trial checklist
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Post-plea checklist
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Indictable checklists for sexual offences

Other checklist

Practice updates and materials

Our lawyers have documented a number of checklists, practical tips and handy hints, which may be useful references for other lawyers.

Case note

Offence snapshots for duty lawy ers

Offence snapshots for duty lawyers, providing an overview of individual offences, including the elements that need to be proved, relevant legislation, case law and sentencing statistics:

Children's Court Criminal Division

For checklists and fact sheets relating to the Children's Court Criminal Division, see Youth Crime.

Precedent letters to experts – mental functioning reports

We have worked with expert psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and psychologists to develop several precedent letters that you can use when requesting forensic reports for plea hearings and mental impairment and fitness assessments. The letters set out relevant issues the expert should address in their report and direct them to the applicable court practice notes. Download the letters:

Visit Psychological and psychiatric reports for sentencing hearings to read more about the requirements expert witness practice note and view a video of panel discussion of them.