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Afghanistan Inquiry Legal Assistance Scheme

The Afghanistan Inquiry Legal Assistance Scheme funds the reasonable costs of legal representation for current and former serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who are the subject of, or participating in, criminal investigations and prosecutions relating to matters arising from the Afghanistan Inquiry. This includes advice for the purposes of participating in Australian Federal Police (AFP)/Office of Special investigator (OSI) investigations, defending charges and giving evidence in court if criminal proceedings are brought in relation to those matters.

Legal financial assistance scheme

We administer the legal financial assistance scheme for:

  • the reasonable professional costs of a legal practitioner to act for you, and/or
  • the reasonable disbursements incurred by a legal practitioner in the course of acting for you, and/or
  • your reasonable costs of attending a place, either when required by a court or to give evidence to a court.

Eligibility for legal assistance

We may provide legal financial assistance to members and former members of the ADF for their reasonable legal representation and disbursement costs if you can demonstrate:

  • The OSI or the AFP has asked you to provide evidence, or
  • You have been asked or compelled, either by the court, prosecution or defence, to provide evidence in criminal proceedings in relation to matters that are the subject of the AFP/OSI Afghanistan investigation, or
  • You have been charged with a crime in relation to matters that are the subject of the AFP/OSI Afghanistan investigation, or
  • You have been served with a Potentially Affected Person (PAP) Notice by the Inspector-General of the ADF, or similar notice by another relevant authority in relation to matters that are the subject of the AFP/OSI Afghanistan investigation.

Applications which do not meet these eligibility requirements will be refused.

Apply for assistance

To submit an application, download and complete the Application form for legal financial assistance.

Scan and email your completed application with supporting documents to finass@ag.gov.au.

If you cannot send your application by email, call:

Legal Financial Assistance Casework Section on 02 6141 4770 or 1800 117 995 between 8.30am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact us through the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call.

Costs that are covered

We will pay for reasonable legal representation and disbursement costs to assist you to appropriately respond to the AFP/OSI investigation. These could include your solicitor's costs (such as attendance or preparation of documents) and disbursements (such as travel, photocopying).

Refer to the publication Afghanistan Inquiry Legal Assistance Scheme Assessment of Costs for detailed information of what is payable and at what rate.

Find out more about the legal financial assistance scheme in the Afghanistan Inquiry Legal Assistance Scheme Guidelines.

No grants relating to the matters covered by the guidelines will be considered under Appendix E to the Legal Services Directions 2017 (the directions) unless we decide otherwise. Any grant made before the commencement of the guidelines relating to the matters covered by the guidelines will continue until the existing grant is exhausted or expired. This includes grants made prior to the commencement of these Guidelines under Appendix E to the directions.

Assessment timeframes

Completed applications will be assessed within 28 days. Incomplete applications will not be assessed. We will notify you if your application is incomplete to request missing information.

If you receive less than 28 days' notice to respond to the AFP/OSI investigation, we will try to assess your application before the date of your appearance.

Payments process

If a grant is approved, we will only pay after the work has been performed and you have lodged a claim with us. The Afghanistan Inquiry Legal Assistance Scheme Assessment of Costs sets the maximum amount that we can pay.

Legal framework

The Afghanistan Inquiry Legal Assistance Scheme Guidelines establish the scheme.

Find out more

Contact the Legal Financial Assistance Casework team:

  • call 02 6141 4770 or 1800 117 995 (between 8:30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday)
  • email finass@ag.gov.au

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment contact us through the National Relay Service and give 02 6141 4770 as the number you would like to call.

Additional information about the scheme is also available on the Department of Defence website.