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Funding Criteria


An application for legal assistance will be granted if

  1. the applicant meets the Means Test
  2. the matter meets the Merits Test
  3. the matter comes within the Commission’s Funding Guidelines; and
  4. the matter meets the Forum Test.

Both the means and merits tests must continue to be satisfied throughout the grant of legal assistance.

Means Test

The Commission assesses the applicant’s means by reference to the applicant’s

  1. income;
  2. assets; and
  3. commercial activities or lifestyle.

These matters are assessed separately and an applicant must be eligible in relation to each matter to satisfy the Means Test.

Merit Test

The Merit Test consists of three tests, being

  1. the reasonable prospect of success test
  2. the prudent self-funding litigant test; and
  3. the appropriateness of spending limited public legal assistance funds test.

All three of these tests must be met for a matter to be assessed as having merit.

Funding Guidelines

The Funding Guidelines comprise

  1. General Guidelines
  2. Specific Guidelines
  3. Guidelines for Commonwealth Matters
  4. Funding Caps (determined by the type of matter and whether the matter is a State or Commonwealth matter)

Forum Test

Aid is only granted for cases to be heard in South Australia.