Decision reconsideration and review process

Decision reconsideration and review process

Decision to give a restitution notice

If a lawyer seeks internal reconsideration or independent review of a decision to give them a restitution notice, then the lawyer must:

  • set out in writing all relevant material on which they rely, including factual matters and submissions
  • send that written material to the original decision-maker
  • ensure that the original decision-maker receives the material:
    • within 14 days after the date of the decision for reconsideration
      or
    • within 21 days after the date of the reconsideration decision for a review.

What does the original decision-maker do when reconsidering their decision?

The original decision-maker will take into account all the material the lawyer has given them. They may also request the lawyer to send them the relevant case file.

If the original decision-maker reverses their decision, then they will withdraw the restitution notice. They will also tell the lawyer of the result of the reconsideration within a reasonable time.

What happens if the original decision-maker does not change their decision?

If the original decision-maker does not change their decision, they will refer the matter to another compliance officer for reconsideration.

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will tell the lawyer of the result of the reconsideration within a reasonable time.

Decision to give a compliance failure notice or a compliance failure notice 2

A lawyer who requests internal reconsideration or independent review of a decision to give them a compliance failure notice or a compliance failure notice 2 must:

  • set out in writing all relevant material on which they rely, including factual matters and submissions
  • send that written material to the compliance co-ordinator
  • ensure that the material reaches the compliance co-ordinator
    • within 14 days after the date of the notice for reconsideration
      or
    • within 21 days after the reconsideration decision for a review.

What does the compliance co-ordinator do when reconsidering a decision to give a lawyer a compliance failure notice or a compliance failure notice 2?

The compliance co-ordinator will take into account all the available information provided by the original decision-maker and by the lawyer. The compliance co-ordinator may also ask for further information from:

  • the lawyer
  • the original decision-maker
  • any other relevant person.

The compliance co-ordinator may decide to:

  • confirm the original decision
  • overturn the decision to give the lawyer the compliance failure notice or the compliance failure notice 2 and give the lawyer a different notice about the breach
  • overturn the decision leading to the original compliance failure notice or to the original compliance failure notice 2 and direct that no further action be taken by VLA.

The compliance co-ordinator must tell the lawyer of their decision within a reasonable time.

If the lawyer is dissatisfied with the reconsideration decision

If the lawyer is dissatisfied with the decision after reconsideration, they may request review of the decision by an independent reviewer, if appropriate.
The lawyer must request review within 21 days of the date of the reconsideration.

After reviewing all the relevant material, the independent reviewer may decide to:

  • confirm the decision
  • change the decision
  • reverse the decision.