Print

Appeal Costs Fund

The Appeal Costs Fund (the Fund) is established under the Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973 (the Act).

The purpose of the Fund is to assist in the payment of costs incurred by litigants through no fault of their own in certain circumstances, such as when decisions are upset on appeal or proceedings are rendered abortive.

The Fund is financed by way of a fee imposed on initiating processes in civil and criminal proceedings in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts. The Fund is administered by the Appeal Costs Board (the Board).

The following topics are covered on this page:

Appeal Costs Board

The Board is established under the Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973. The Board considers applications from parties in civil and criminal proceedings for payment out of the Fund, for costs of certain appeals and failed proceedings.

A Chairperson and two board members constitute the Board. The Chairperson is a senior officer of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. The Bar Association of Queensland and the Queensland Law Society each nominate a member who has expertise in the law of costs.

The Board is also assisted by an Executive Legal Officer who is the Board’s secretary and point of contact.

Board meetings are held approximately once every 6 to 8 weeks to consider and determine applications.

Legal advice

The Appeal Costs Board and the Executive Legal Officer do not provide legal advice to self-represented applicants and solicitors, including statutory interpretation of the Act. However, the below information is provided for procedural assistance.

Amount paid to applicants

The Appeal Costs Fund Regulation 2010 (the Regulation) provides maximum amounts on certain applications. Please refer to the Regulation to ascertain whether there are prescribed maximum amounts under the application.

Time limits and filing fees

There are no time limits or filing fees applicable for making an application to the Board. However, to ensure that there are no delays, where a jury has been unable to reach a verdict at your trial, or your conviction has been quashed or the hearing of your proceedings has been discontinued owing to the ill health of the presiding judge, magistrate or justice, it is recommended that you apply for an indemnity certificate pursuant to the relevant section of the Act and lodge your application with the Board as soon as possible.

How to apply

You can make an application by post or online. However, applying online is quicker.

To make an application you must download and complete the relevant form. Then you may either email scanned and certified copies of your application and supporting documentation to the Executive Legal Officer, or your application and certified supporting documentation may be posted to the Executive Legal Officer.

If you cannot send your application by email or post, please contact the Executive Legal Officer to make other arrangements.

Once the Executive Legal Officer has received your application you will be sent an email confirmation containing your application reference number. However, the Executive Legal Officer can only process applications which are complete. If you provide an incomplete application you may be asked to provide more information or supporting documentation to progress your application.

The speed with which your application is processed depends upon whether all material has been supplied in support of the application.

Applications under section 16

As a preliminary step to preparing your application, review sections 15 and 16 of the Act and regulation 5 of the Regulation to ensure compliance with all necessary requirements.

In order for an application to be referred to the Board under section 16 of the Act, you must provide the following documentation. Your application will be delayed if you do not provide these materials:

  1. An application in either Form 2 or Form 3 to be completed in the name of, and signed by the applicant:
    1. Form 2 relates to applications pursuant to section 16(1) of the Act, where a respondent has actually paid to the appellant, the costs ordered by the Court and is seeking reimbursement from the Board.
    2. Form 3 relates to applications made by the appellant/respondent pursuant to section 16(2) of the Act, where a respondent has unreasonably refused or is unable to pay to the appellant the costs ordered by the Court, causing the appellant to apply directly to the Board.
  2. A certified copy of the indemnity certificate; the indemnity certificate must be completed in Form 1 as prescribed under the Regulation.
  3. A copy of the judgment/appeal court order and reasons for the decision.
  4. Any order of the registrar stating the amount at which a costs statement has been assessed, for part or all of the costs claimed (if applicable).
  5. An itemised bill of costs for any other costs claimed.
  6. A copy of a receipt or other documents, evidencing any payment of costs by or on behalf of the respondent, relied on.
  7. If payment of an appellant’s costs is claimed under section 16(2) of the Act, sworn evidence of the respondent’s failure to pay the appellant’s costs.
  8. Sworn evidence of any other facts relied on.

Please provide information relating to the nature, complexity and circumstances of the matter, to enable the Board to determine if the costs claimed are reasonable. If payment of an appellant's costs is claimed under section 16(2) of the Act, please provide sworn evidence of the respondent's failure to pay the appellant's costs.

Note: Section 16 of the Act stipulates that both parties must either agree to the costs to be claimed from the Fund or have the costs taxed. The Board reserves the right to consider whether the costs are reasonable even if the parties have agreed. Section 16(3) of the Act provides that the maximum payable to any one respondent in relation to one indemnity certificate is $15,000.

Under section 5(6) of the Act, the Board may allow an amount as it thinks fit to a party to any proceedings for the party’s costs of making an application to the Board under this Act.

Applications under section 22

As a preliminary step to preparing your application, review sections 21 and 22 of the Act and regulation 6 of the Regulation to ensure compliance with all necessary requirements.

In order for an application to be referred to the Board under section 22 of the Act, you must provide the following documentation. Your application will be delayed if you do not provide these materials:

  1. An application in Form 9 to be completed by and signed by the applicant. If you are a solicitor applying on behalf of Legal Aid Queensland, you may complete the application in your own name. Please ensure that the application stipulates that payment should be made to Legal Aid Queensland.

    If you are a solicitor who acted on behalf of a client:

    • Who did not receive assistance from Legal Aid Queensland
    • Who has not paid your fees
    • Who, for whatever reason, cannot sign the application form
    • Who has authorised you to act on their behalf in making the application to the Board.

    You may apply on your client's behalf, provided that you submit sworn evidence of those facts.

  2. A copy of any order or transcript evidencing a fact mentioned in section 22(2)(a) of the Act (only required if you are applying under section 22(2)(a)).
  3. A copy of any order for a new trial mentioned in section 22(2)(b) of the Act (only required if you are applying under section 22(2)(b)). If the order does not show it was made on an appeal on a question of law, provide a copy of any transcript showing that fact.
  4. Any certificate granted under section 22(2)(c) of the Act (only required if you are applying under section 22(2)(c)) – this is the Form 8.
  5. An itemised bill of costs for all costs relating to the claimant of the original trial and of the new trial that identifies each cost of the original trial thrown away or partly thrown away.
  6. A copy of any order to pay additional costs of a new trial.
  7. A copy of a receipt, or any other documents, relied on to show payment of additional costs of a new trial; These costs are not recoverable but incurring them is a condition to recovering costs of the earlier trial that are thrown away. The amount of additional costs can be minimal such as where a nolle prosequi is entered or the matter is settled or discontinued. The sworn evidence provided in support of the application must refer to the issue of additional costs and attach evidence of the additional costs incurred.
  8. Sworn evidence of any other facts relied on.

Your application will be delayed if any of the above materials are not provided. To speed up processing of your application, it is important that you only claim costs that are thrown away. An example of costs that are not thrown away would be medical reports or Counsel’s brief that may be reused whether or not a new trial is eventually held.

Under section 5(6) of the Act, the Board may allow an amount as it thinks fit to a party to any proceedings for the party’s costs of making an application to the Board under this Act.

Forms

Form 1 - Indemnity certificate pursuant to s.15

Form 2 - Application pursuant to s.16(1)

Form 3 - Application pursuant to s.16(2)

Form 5 - Indemnity certificate pursuant to s.17

Form 6 - Application pursuant to s.18

Form 8 - Certificate pursuant to s.22(2)(c)

Form 9 - Application pursuant to s.22 or s.23

Form 11 - Application pursuant to s.24(1)

Form 12 - Application pursuant to s.24(2)

Contact

Executive Legal Officer
Appeal Costs Board
Legal Advice and Advocacy
GPO Box 149
Brisbane QLD 4001
Email: appealcostsapplications@justice.qld.gov.au
Telephone: (07) 3738 9526

Receiving payment

If the Board has determined your application, your solicitor (or you where you represent yourself) will receive a cheque approximately 2 to 4 weeks of the Board meeting at which the application was considered.

If there are any delays regarding payment the Executive Legal Officer will contact you

Indemnity certificates

The presiding judge, magistrate or justice who is authorised to issue an indemnity certificate may issue a certificate in circumstances where on hearing of any civil or criminal proceeding, the proceeding is discontinued and a new trial is ordered through no fault attributable to the conduct of the parties or their legal representatives, or in circumstances where a decision is upset on appeal.

It is up to your solicitor or you to obtain the necessary indemnity certificate as the Board cannot help you with this.

Applications funded by Legal Aid Queensland

For applications that have been funded by Legal Aid Queensland, it is the practice that:

  • Legal Aid Queensland submits the relevant tax invoices directly to the Board; and
  • the remaining documentation as required under the Regulation be lodged by your solicitor.

It is up to your solicitor or you (where you are self-represented) to advise Legal Aid Queensland that an application has been made to the Appeal Costs Board and that the Board requires the relevant tax invoices. We cannot help you obtain the necessary tax invoices.

More information

Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973

Appeal Costs Fund Regulation 2010

Legal Aid Queensland