Information for lawyers

Extension of flexible forum test pilot

Since 1 July 2019, our organisation and Legal Aid NSW have been trialling a more flexible application of the forum test for Commonwealth family law matters for applicants that reside along the NSW and Victorian border.

The forum test is a test that legal aid commissions across Australia use to determine which commission is responsible for providing a grant of legal assistance where a person lives in a state or territory that differs to the state or territory in which their legal matter is being heard.

Supporting our clients and how to use WebEx

Online hearings and remote processes

We are committed to ensuring the needs of the people we help are our foremost priority, now more than ever throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today, we are releasing guidance and information to help lawyers provide the best possible support to their clients during this time, including how to engage in online hearings across various courts and jurisdictions. 

Important information about the management of court-ordered family violence grants

As we continue to manage the impact of COVID-19 on family violence matters in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, it is important for practitioners to keep files open while new hearing dates are allocated.

The Assignments team at Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has continued to allocate all s71 and s72 court ordered family violence grants during the pandemic for three important reasons.

Getting the most out of our spend on psychologists and psychiatrists

Psychiatrists and psychologists are engaged from time to time to prepare expert reports for our clients, and to attend court to give evidence about their mental health.

As you may be aware, our Board has fixed fees for expert reports and court attendances by psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal matters. The fees are set out in Table S of the VLA Handbook.

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