Review of the Expensive Commonwealth Criminal Cases Fund
The Law Council of Australia strongly supports the Expensive Commonwealth Criminal Cases Fund (ECCCF) as a critical source of funding to defend those charged with offences contrary to Commonwealth law by funding state and territory Legal Aid Commissions (LACs) to represent individuals being prosecuted for serious, high cost Commonwealth criminal offences.
The intended outcomes of the ECCCF are to ensure:
- LACs have sufficient resources to provide a legal defence for people charged with serious Commonwealth criminal offences who cannot afford private legal representation;
- LACs do not need to reallocate funding away from other Commonwealth service priorities, such as family law matters and less expensive criminal cases, to meet the cost of expensive Commonwealth criminal law matters; and
- Commonwealth criminal law proceedings are prevented from being adjourned, postponed, or stayed in accordance with the principle established by the High Court’s decision in Dietrich v The Queen (1992) 177 CLR 292 due to a lack of legal representation for an indigent accused.
You can read the full submission here.