Claims for criminal matters are prepared and submitted to the Board by a legal practitioner. All indemnity certificates granted in civil matters are prepared by the courts and submitted to the Board by legal practitioners.
The documentation required, and the procedures to follow, to make a claim are set out in the Board’s guidelines (available at www.justice.vic.gov.au). The requirements for each application may vary according to the type of proceeding involved.
Under section 35D of the AC Act, applications must be lodged with the Board no later than 12 months after the final determination of the matter to which the indemnity certificate relates.
An application to the Board must include:
• a completed application form, available from the Board’s website – this form must be completed in full, and should outline the amounts sought from the Board and for what legal services these costs were for;
• a signed copy of the indemnity certificate, or a copy of the authenticated court order; and
• the appropriate accounts or Victoria Legal Aid fee forms (as requested on the application form).
When an application is received by the Secretary of the Board, it is registered and placed before the Board as soon as practicable. Once the application has been considered (unless it is unsatisfactory or further material is required), a decision will be made about whether or not to authorise payment to the applicant of an amount determined by the Board. A letter is forwarded to the applicant or the applicant’s solicitors informing them of the Board’s decision. The applicant does not need to attend the Board’s heading.
Depending on the level of complexity, this process can take approximately three months after all the documentation has been received by the Board.