Who we are
Legal Aid Queensland provides legal assistance to financially and socially
An independent statutory authority that operates under the Legal Aid
Queensland Act (1997) we are funded by the Queensland Government to undertake
State law matters and by the Federal Government for Commonwealth law matters.
Over 300 staff work at Legal Aid Queensland in 14 offices located throughout
Queensland – Brisbane, Bundaberg, Caboolture, Cairns, Inala, Ipswich, Mackay,
Maroochydore, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Southport, Toowoomba, Townsville and
What we do
We are the State's largest criminal law practice. Our Criminal Law Practice
employs Queensland's leading criminal defence solicitors and counsel who
represent individuals (both children and adults) charged with criminal offences
before all court jurisdictions in Queensland. From duty lawyer services to major
and complex cases heard in the Supreme Court – we are an integral and driving
force in Queensland's criminal justice system.
Our Family Law Practice provides specialist family law services in the areas
of child support, domestic violence and general family law matters. One of the
objectives of our Family Law Practice is to resolve family law disputes through
non litigious methods and as a result, the practice has played a major part in
the development of alternative dispute resolution in Queensland. Much of the
practice’s work is dedicated to ensuring children have a voice in the legal
system and their best interests are considered and met.
The Civil Justice Practice provides Legal Aid Queensland's civil law
services. The team, which specialises in victims compensation, consumer law
disputes and anti-discrimination law, undertakes casework, provides legal
advice, legal information and community education on a statewide basis, and
participates in law reform.
Legal Aid Queensland works tirelessly to assist Queenslanders overcome
hurdles which would normally see them unable to access legal help. From
financial and social disadvantage to the challenges created by distance and
geographical location – Legal Aid Queensland tailors its services to address the
needs of a diverse range of stakeholders.
For example, we provide 11 specialist services to assist priority groups with
specific legal problems. To increase access to legal aid services we have
established an extensive network of preferred suppliers – private law firms who
provide legal aid services. To ensure as many Queenslanders as possible receive
legal help we use state of the art technology such as videoconferencing and the
Internet. A telephone legal advice service, which is free to all Queenslanders,
ensures anyone, anywhere in the State can access legal advice.
Legal representation for clients is also available. To receive legal aid for
representation clients have to meet our means and merits test. The means test
consists of an income and assets review. For people whose income and assets are
within the means test limits, representation is free. However, some clients may
be requires to make a contribution to the costs of their matter. The merits test
considers the "merits" of the application such as whether the grant of aid is an
appropriate use of public funds and the prospects of success.
Primary Dispute Resolution
Primary Dispute Resolution services have provided effective and
cost-efficient solutions to disputes since they were introduced in 1985.
Legal Aid Queensland's main primary dispute resolution service is the
Conferencing Program, which combines mediation, conciliation and arbitration
processes. Conferences bring opposing parties and their solicitors together
before an independent chairperson to reach a mutually acceptable and workable
Conferences are offered for parenting issues, spousal maintenance, division
of matrimonial property, and some civil law disputes.
Legal Aid Queensland coordinates free duty lawyer services in more than 100
Magistrates and Children's Courts throughout Queensland. Details of duty lawyers
and court locations are available in the Legal Information, Duty Lawyer area.
The Scheme aims to ensure that people appearing in court after being charged
with a criminal offence have access to independent advice and representation. If
that person pleads guilty, the duty lawyer will take their instructions and make
submissions to the court on their behalf. However, if they want to defend the
matter, the duty lawyer cannot conduct their defence and they will have to make
an application for a grant of aid.
Duty lawyers do not represent people charged with drink driving or simple
traffic offences, unless the person is at risk of imprisonment. Duty lawyers are
drawn from Legal Aid Queensland's Legal Practice and private lawyers.
Court Representation is available in civil, criminal and family law matters.
Civil Law covers a range of matters including:
- discrimination and human rights
- criminal injuries compensation - download the information sheet (PDF -
- administrative appeals
- veteran's claims
- consumer protection disputes
- Mental Health Tribunal hearings
- certain workers compensation matters
Legal Aid Queensland also administers a Civil Law Legal Aid Scheme (CLLAS).
CLLAS is funded by the Public Trustee.
Court representation is available for prescribed and non-prescribed crime
Prescribed crime matters are serious criminal matters which carry a sentence
in excess of 14 years or more. This includes murder, rape, manslaughter and drug
importation. Prescribed crime is means-tested (looking at income and assets) but
not merit-tested. Our Policy Manual has information on the means and merit
Non-prescribed crime matters are less serious criminal offences such as
breaking and entering, possession of a dangerous drug and stealing.
Non-prescribed crime is both means and merit-tested (see the Policy Manual for
Legal Aid Queensland offers a wide range of services in family law including:
- separate representation of children in Family Court matters
- child maintenance and support through the Child Support Forum
- divorce and property settlement disputes
- parenting arrangements
- domestic violence matters
44 Herschel Street Brisbane QLD 4000
Telephone: 1300 65 11 88