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|Duty Lawyer Scheme > Handling
A defendant who passes both the merits and the means tests must pay a handling charge of $620 before the Scheme takes up the case. This is the only charge a defendant has to pay, no matter how long the case last.
The handling charge of $620 has to be paid by cash into a designated bank account of the Duty Lawyer Service and the deposit receipt must be handed to the Court Liaison Office.
The Administrator of the Duty Lawyer Service has the discretion to waive the handling charge in cases of genuine hardship. Defendants receiving public assistance are automatically exempted from payment of the handling charge.
After payment of the handling charge, an appointment will be arranged for the defendant to give instructions. The defendant must attend the Court Liaison Office on the date of appointment to give instructions to the Service's Court Liaison Officers to prepare for the defence or mitigation of his/her case.
No representation will or can be arranged if there is a lack of instructions i.e. failing to give instructions or the failure to give full and truthful instructions to the Court Liaison Office. The handling charge paid will not be refunded.
The Duty Lawyer Service employs lawyers in private practice to conduct trials and other court work. Case papers are sent to the assigned duty lawyer well in advance of the trial.
The Duty Lawyer will discuss and confirm the defendant's instructions with him/her before appearing in court. If considered necessary, the Duty Lawyer would request to have a conference with the defendant prior to the trial day.
Defendants should attend the Court Liaison Office at 9 a.m. sharp on the day of trial