Court appointed pro bono legal assistance

A court may refer litigants to a lawyer on the Courts Pro Bono Panel: see Division 9, Part 7 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW).

Any litigant may apply, but exceptional circumstances must exist for a litigant to be referred if they have obtained such assistance in the last 3 years.

A court will refer an application if it is in the “interests of the administration of justice” to do so. Under Rule 7.36, subrule (2) the court may take into account:

  • the means of the litigant, and
  • the capacity of the litigant to obtain legal assistance outside of the scheme, and
  • the nature and complexity of the proceedings, and
  • any other matter that the court considers appropriate.

The application is made by filing a Notice of Motion and supporting Affidavit with the court in which the proceedings are being held.

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