We facilitate funding of legal representation of interested parties and witnesses granted leave to appear before the (RCMPI) under an agreement with the Department of Justice and Community Safety. RCMPI legal assistance is not assistance under the Legal Aid Act 1978.
Who is eligible
A person will be eligible for RCMPI assistance if they meet all of the following:
- the person has been issued with a notice to appear before the RCMPI to give evidence; issued with a written request to provide a statement to the RCMPI; and/or granted leave to appear before the RCMPI
- the RCMPI has confirmed in writing that it is satisfied that it would facilitate the effective running of the RCMPI if the above person were to receive legal representation (referral letter)
- the person requests RCMPI legal assistance from VLA within 5 days of the legal service being provided.
Applications will not be subject to the means test.
RCMPI assistance under the scheme is only for the purpose of the RCMPI and does not apply to criminal or civil cases arising out of the RCMPI. A person will not be eligible if they are receiving or eligible for assistance through their employer, a union, an insurer or other employment related association.
Applying for an eligible person
Practitioners should include:
- the witness number provided by the RCMPI,
- the dates of any upcoming hearing or due date for filing a statement
- contact details of the practitioner with carriage of the file
- the name of any counsel briefed in the matter.
- confirmation that the person is not eligible for legal assistance under any other scheme.
We will confirm by return email if a grant of RCMPI legal assistance is made.
Our decision of RCMPI legal assistance is final. Because RCMPI legal assistance is not a grant of assistance under the Legal Aid Act 1978 the rights of reconsideration and review under that act do not apply.
What practitioners need to provide
Practitioners must abide by any instructions from the RCMPI regarding conflict of interest and the RCMPI’s practice direction. If a practitioner’s authorisation to represent the interested party is revoked or terminated by the RCMPI they must notify VLA immediately.
Practitioners must also notify VLA if they become aware that their client is eligible for assistance through another arrangement.
The fees payable for RCMPI legal assistance:
|Provision of Advice to the Eligible Person||$438|
|Conference with Eligible Person up to 7 hours.||$205/hr (capped at 7 hours)|
|Drafting a statement requested by the RCMPI||$205/hr (capped at 7 hours)|
|Appearance 1st Day||$1690|
|Appearance 2nd & subsequent days||$1352|
These fees are GST inclusive.
Fee increment caps
Fee caps apply to RCMPI legal assistance at increments of $15,000. At each increment VLA will reassess the witness or interested party’s ongoing representation.
Where fees are likely to exceed $15,000
Practitioners must notify us immediately if fees to be claimed are to exceed $15,000.
When we are notified that fees are likely to exceed $15,000, we will seek such confirmation from the RCMPI that ongoing legal assistance will facilitate the effective running of the commission. We will notify the practitioner if such confirmation is received.
We will not pay fees above $15,000 without confirmation from the RCMPI that the interested party’s ongoing representation is required.
Where fees are likely to exceed $30,000 (and each additional increment cap)
Practitioners must notify us each time a matter is likely to exceed a fee increment cap. The procedure set out above will apply. We will not pay any fees above a fee increment cap without confirming ongoing representation is required.
Practitioners must invoice us for work done promptly. Tax Invoices must include the RCMPI witness number, the name of the practitioner with carriage of the matter and the dates of all appearances.
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
Reviewed 25 January 2022