Removal and suspension from a section 29A panel

Removal and suspension from a section 29A panel

Request to be removed from the panel

If a private law firm or private lawyer requests in writing, that Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) removes their name from the panel, then VLA must comply with the request.

Removal or suspension of a member by VLA

Part 7 of the Section 29A panel practitioner manual sets out the procedure VLA must follow to suspend or remove a private law firm or private lawyer from the panel.

Reinstatement to the panel

Material change in circumstances

If there has been a material change in the circumstances of a private law firm or of a private lawyer whom VLA has removed from the Section 29A Practitioner Panel, then the firm or lawyer may seek reinstatement to the panel.

Where a lawyer is acquitted of criminal charge or a conviction is overturned

A lawyer who has been removed is entitled to seek reinstatement if both:

  • VLA removed them because of a pending criminal investigation or after a criminal conviction
  • the lawyer is acquitted or their conviction is overturned on appeal.

In these circumstances, VLA cannot refuse to reinstate the lawyer unless VLA is satisfied on reasonable grounds that section 7 of the Legal Aid Act 1978 requires that the lawyer remain excluded from the panel.

Passage of time

A lawyer who has been removed may seek reinstatement to the panel after a period of removal.

In deciding whether to reinstate the lawyer as a panel member, VLA may take into account any information and circumstances VLA considers to be relevant.