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Current Grant Opportunity View - GO247

Financial Legal Assistance Schemes

Contact Details

Legal Financial Assistance Casework section

02 6141 4770



Attorney-General's Department
Close Date & Time:
Primary Category:
151004 - Legal Services
Publish Date:
ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD, NT, TAS, Administered Territories, Overseas
Selection Process:
Demand Driven


The Attorney-General's Department administers a range of statutory and non-statutory legal financial assistance schemes.

Legal financial assistance schemes

Commonwealth public interest and test cases scheme

Disbursement support scheme

Overseas child abduction scheme

Serious overseas criminal matters scheme

Special circumstances scheme

Other legal financial assistance schemes 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984, section 30:

Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976, sections 54C and 74A

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, section 30A and section 69:

Australian Crime Commission Act 2002, section 27:

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986, section 46PU:

Competition and Consumer Act 2010, section 170:

Defence Force Discipline Appeals Regulations 1957, regulation 11:

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009, sections 324(1) and 326(1), (4) and (5):

Freedom of Information Act 1982, section 66:

Judiciary Act 1903, section 69(3) and section 78B(4):

Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-vesting) Act 1987, subsection 6(7):

Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006, section 103 and section 221:

Privacy Act 1988, section 63:

Proceeds of Crime Act 1987, section 102:

War Crimes Act 1945, section 19:


The Attorney-General's Department cannot help people facing criminal charges in Australia or with legal matters under state or territory laws. For these matters, contact your local legal aid office.

The Attorney-General's Department will not generally grant funding:

  • for Overseas legal actions, unless under
    • the Serious Overseas Criminal Matters Scheme,
    • the Overseas Child Abduction Scheme, or
    • the Special Circumstances Scheme
  • to people who can meet their legal costs without incurring serious financial difficulty
  • for costs incurred before an application is made, unless the scheme allows for reimbursement.
Grant Activity Timeframe:

Assessment timeframes

Complete applications will be assessed within 28 days.

Incomplete applications will not be assessed. You will be notified if your application is incomplete.

Seeking a review of a decision

If you disagree with a decision (or any part of it), you may request a review in writing.

If a review is sought, the whole application will be considered by a decision maker who did not make the original decision. The written request must explain why you believe that the decision was wrong and must be received within 28 days of the date of the letter.

For more information on seeking a review please refer to the Decision Review - FAQ's and Request form available in GO Documents section.

Total Amount Available (AUD):


Instructions for Application Submission:

You can apply online or download the application form and email a completed copy to with the required attachments:

The relevant documents in the GO Documents section are:

Disbursement Support Scheme

    • Disbursement Support Scheme Application

    • Disbursement Support Scheme Frequently asked Questions

Overseas Child Abduction Scheme

    • Legal Financial Assistance Application

    • Overseas Child Abduction Matters Additional Information

Serious Overseas Criminal Matters Scheme

    • Serious Overseas Criminal Matters Application

All Other Schemes

    • Legal Financial Assistance Application


If you cannot email your application, contact the Financial Assistance Section on:

1800 117 995 (toll free in Australia), or
02 6141 4770 (charges apply).

Other Instructions:

Commonwealth Guidelines for Legal Financial Assistance (Guidelines)

The Guidelines apply to all schemes and are available under GO Documents.

An addendum for the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was added to the Guidelines.

The Legal Financial Assistance Assessment of Costs applies to all schemes and is available under GO Documents.


All applications for legal financial assistance are confidential, as explained in the Privacy - Legal Financial Assistance document which is available in the GO Documents section.

Information for lawyers

If assistance is granted for legal representation, the department is to be invoiced directly, by email to

Complete invoices are paid in approximately 28 days.

Incomplete invoices are returned without being assessed.

For more information see the Legal Financial Assistance - Assessment of Costs document under GO Documents.

Addenda Available:

Contact Details

Legal Financial Assistance Casework section

02 6141 4770