Rights to request reconsideration or review of decisions to give compliance notices

Rights to request reconsideration or review of decisions to give compliance notices

File review notice

If a lawyer receives a file review notice, then they cannot request internal reconsideration or independent review of the decision to issue the notice. However, the compliance officer will take any response into account when determining whether further action will be taken.

Non-compliance notice

If a lawyer receives a non-compliance notice, then they have.

  • a limited right to request internal reconsideration and independent review in relation to how the matter meets the relevant guideline or the assessment of merit. However, the lawyer has the right only if the compliance officer has also given them a restitution notice in relation to that breach
  • a right to request a withdrawal of the non-compliance notice on the basis that the compliance officer has wrongly applied Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)’s requirements.

Restitution notice

If a lawyer receives a restitution notice, then they have a right to request internal reconsideration of the decision to give them that notice if, either:

  • they believe that the compliance officer has wrongly applied VLA’s requirements
  • the alleged breach relates to the lawyer’s assessment of the relevant matter under the legal aid guidelines specifying the types of matter which VLA may legally assist.

They also have a right to request independent review if the breach relates to the lawyer’s assessment of the guidelines and merits.

However, a lawyer who receives a restitution notice cannot request an independent review if that notice relates to a breach by them of any of the following:

  • the terms and conditions of their membership of the section 29A practitioner panel (which are set out in Part 2 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual)
  • the performance standards set out in Part 3 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual
  • the requirements about reporting and record keeping set out in Part 4 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual
  • the requirements regarding documentary proof of means set out in Part 5 section 5.2 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual
  • the requirements regarding documentary proof of matter set out in Part 5 section 5.3 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual.

Compliance failure notice and compliance failure notice 2

If a lawyer receives a compliance failure notice, then they have a right to request internal reconsideration of the decision to give them that notice if either:

  • they believe that the compliance officer has wrongly applied VLA’s requirements
  • the alleged breach relates to the lawyer’s assessment of the relevant matter under the legal aid guidelines specifying the types of matter which VLA may legally assist.

They also have a right to request independent review if the breach relates to the lawyer’s assessment of the guidelines and merits.

However, if a lawyer receives a compliance failure notice or a compliance failure notice 2, then:

  • they cannot request independent review of the decision to give them that notice merely because, since then, they have, remedied a breach by the remedial action which the notice required
    and
  • they cannot request internal reconsideration or independent review of the decision to give them that notice if that notice relates to a breach by them of:
    • the terms and conditions of their membership of the section 29A practitioner panel (which are set out in Part 2 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual)
    • the performance standards set out in Part 3 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual
    • the requirements about reporting and record keeping set out in Part 4 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual
    • the requirements regarding documentary proof of means set out in Part 5 section 5.2 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual
    • the requirements regarding documentary proof of matter set out in Part 5 section 5.3 of the Section 29A Panel Practitioner Manual.