9 Sept 2019
Duty Lawyer Services are legal services provided by a duty lawyer or advocate to a client at a court or tribunal.
Some common duty lawyer schemes are criminal law list days, apprehended violence order list days, and tenancy duty advocacy schemes.
There are currently eight Duty Lawyer Service Activity Types in CLASS, and some Centres have their own custom Activity Types which map back to these eight.
Feedback has suggested it may be easier to collapse the CLASS categories to align with the four main Activity Types for Duty Lawyer civil and family law matters set out in the National Data Standards Manual (Table 13). CLCs Australia is currently reviewing this.
|Duty Lawyer Service Activity Type - CLASS||Circumstances in which this Activity Type is selected||Data Standards Manual Duty Lawyer Activity Type|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Advice||Solicitor / advocate on duty provides advice only - does not provide assistance in relation to document preparation or negotiating with the other party||
Duty Lawyer - Advice only
|Duty Lawyer Service – Assistance – Advice and Drafting court documents||Solicitor / advocate on duty does not act for the person, but instead provides advice and/or drafts court documents for the person to use themselves in the court or tribunal||Duty Lawyer - Legal Assistance|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Assistance – Advice and negotiating with other parties||Solicitor / advocate on duty does not act for the person, but instead provides advice and negotiates with the landlord/agent on behalf of the tenant||Duty Lawyer - Legal Assistance|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Minor Appearance – Adjournment||
Solicitor / advocate on duty acts as the client's representative in front of the court or tribunal in relation to an adjournment (ie no substantive issues discussed)
|Duty Lawyer - Minor Appearance|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Minor Appearance – Procedural Orders only||Solicitor / advocate on duty acts as the client's representative in front of the court or tribunal in relation to any other procedural orders (ie no substantive issues discussed)||Duty Lawyer - Minor Appearance|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Appearance – Advice and court-based conference||Solicitor / advocate on duty acts as the Service User's representative in a court-based conference (which always includes advice)||Duty Lawyer - Appearance|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Appearance – Interim application||Solicitor / advocate on duty acts as the Service User's representative in front of the court or tribunal in relation to an interim application||Duty Lawyer - Appearance|
|Duty Lawyer Service – Appearance – Submissions made||Solicitor / advocate on duty acts as the Service User's representative in front of the court or tribunal and makes submissions on the substantive matter||Duty Lawyer - Appearance|
Duty Lawyer Service v non-legal court support
Some Centres operate a court support program in which non-legal workers or volunteers provide support to people attending court. Examples are:
- Domestic violence court support programs, where women seeking domestic/family violence orders are supported to stay safe from the perpetrator, provided with referrals for housing / social work, and assisted to understand the court processes
- Disability court support schemes in which volunteers attend to support people with an intellectual disability who are facing criminal or civil court proceedings
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander court support officers who help Aboriginal people get to court and navigate the court processes.
These court support schemes are to be recorded as Non-Legal Support Services (either discrete or ongoing) and not Duty Lawyer services.
Duty Lawyer Service v ongoing legal services
Where a person receives a Duty Lawyer Service and then contacts the Centre directly for more help, or the Centre otherwise decides that this person is someone for whom they wish to provide other advice or assistance, the additional help is counted as a separate service. The first service is counted as one Duty Lawyer Service and the subsequent service is counted as a Legal Advice, Legal Task, Dispute Resolution Service, Court/Tribunal Representation Service, or other service as relevant.
Case studies and examples
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