Comments and feedback
Legal Aid WA welcomes your comments, feedback and complaints as they can assist us in continuing to improve our services and products.
To access our legal information service, contact the InfoLine on 1300 650 579 to find the legal information option which best meets your needs.
Important: Legal Aid WA does not provide legal advice by email.
Lodging a complaint
You can view the Legal Aid WA complaints policy here.
What is a complaint?
It is an expression of dissatisfaction or concern made to Legal Aid WA by a client, a member of the public or a group and relates to our services and products. A complaint can also relate to the way a complaint is being handled by Legal Aid WA.
Should my complaint be in writing?
A complaint can be made in person, by telephone, fax, email or by writing a letter to Legal Aid WA. If you need assistance in lodging a complaint, we will help you to do so by arranging the assistance of special services such as the telephone interpreter service, the hearing impaired service or assistance for the visually impaired.
How much will it cost to lodge a complaint?
There is no charge for either lodging a complaint or for any of the services that are used to assist you in lodging a complaint.
What if I have been refused legal aid?
When you apply for legal aid for a lawyer to represent you in court proceedings there are several processes involved.
If you have been refused legal aid initially, you can request that the decision be reconsidered. A request for a reconsideration of the decision to refuse you legal aid is not treated as a complaint as you have a right to have your application for legal aid re-assessed.
If you have been refused legal aid on reconsideration, you are entitled to have the assessment reviewed by an independent Review Committee. The decision of a Review Committee on an application for legal aid is ordinarily final and a complaint against the decision of the Review Committee not to grant you legal assistance cannot be overturned except in exceptional circumstances by the Board of Comissioners of Legal Aid WA.
Are there time limits for complaints?
You can access the Legal Aid WA complaints policy here. Where an oral complaint is made which concerns a minor administrative or policy matter that does not require investigation, it should be dealt with immediately. If a complaint is in writing or is a more serious oral complaint, receipt of it will be acknowledged in writing within five working days. The complaint will then be investigated. Within 21 working days, a written reply will be sent and will include details of the issues, and what action has been taken or will be taken, if necessary.
If it will take longer than 21 working days to deal with your complaint, Legal Aid WA will keep you informed of the progress of the investigation.
If it is considered appropriate, you will also be advised to pursue the complaint further with the Legal Practice Board or any other appropriate government agency.
How does Legal Aid WA deal with your complaint?
Legal Aid WA takes any complaint it receives very seriously and is committed to assisting in obtaining the best possible outcome.
Legal Aid WA ensures that:
- all complaints will be investigated thoroughly and without prejudice
- all parties to the complaint will have the right to be heard and have any submissions considered
- matters not relevant to the complaint will not be taken into account
- the nominated person(s) making decisions in regard to the complaints must be fair and just.
What to expect from making a complaint?
It is not always possible to resolve an issue as a result of making a complaint. In some instances it may be beyond the capacity of Legal Aid WA to do so, such as providing legal advice to one party to a dispute and providing the same advice to another party to same dispute. This would constitute a conflict of interest for Legal Aid WA.
Legal Aid WA is bound by both policy and legislation which means that sometimes it is not possible to provide the service that a person requires.
You can however expect the following:
- to be treated with courtesy and consideration and to have your complaint thoroughly and properly investigated
- to be given appropriate and easily understood information concerning the complaints process, including being informed of the progress of any investigation of your complaint
- Legal Aid WA will endeavour to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the complaint within the bounds of legislative and policy requirements.
What is expected of you?
- that you will treat the staff handling your complaint with courtesy whilst acknowledging that they will be attending to your complaint through an established complaints handling process
- you will provide information that will assist in the proper handling of your complaint to Legal Aid WA when requested.
Where to send your complaint?
You can post your complaint to:
The Complaints Co-ordinator
Legal Aid Western Australia
GPO Box L916
PERTH WA 6832
Last reviewed: 01/01/2008