Appeal Costs Fund
The purpose of the Appeal Costs Fund (‘the Fund’) is to help compensate litigants for costs arising from decisions that are upset on appeal or if proceedings are aborted through no fault of their own.
The Fund is financed by a fee 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’) under the Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973 (‘the Act’).
- Appeal Costs Board
- How to apply
- Indemnity certificates
- Applications funded by Legal Aid Queensland
- More information
Appeal Costs Board
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.
The Board is made up of a Chairperson and two Board Members. 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 Board Member who is representative of those bodies.
The Board is 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, or as required to consider and determine applications.
The Appeal Costs Board and the Executive Legal Officer do not provide legal advice about the Fund. The information on this page is provided for procedural assistance only, and is of a general nature. If you still have difficulty understanding the process, or have questions beyond what is covered by this information, we recommend that you obtain independent legal advice.
Amount paid to applicants
The Appeal Costs Fund Regulation 2010 ('the Regulation') provides maximum amounts on certain applications. Please refer to the Regulation to find out 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 we recommend that you apply for an indemnity certificate under the relevant section of the Act and then 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 apply you must download and complete the relevant form, depending on which section of the Act you are applying under. Information on the relevant sections is below
Certified copies of your application and supporting documentation can be:
- scanned and emailed to email@example.com
- posted to the Executive Legal Officer:
Executive Legal Officer
Appeal Costs Board
Legal Advice and Advocacy
GPO Box 149, Brisbane QLD 4001
If you cannot send your application by email or post, please contact the Executive Legal Officer to make other arrangements.
Once we have received your application you will be sent an email confirmation containing your application reference number.
However, we can only process applications which are complete. If you provide an incomplete application, we may ask you to provide more information or supporting documentation to process your application.
If you provide all requested material, we can process your application more quickly.
Applications under section 16 after a successful appeal on a point of law
Before preparing your application, review sections 15 and 16 of the Act and regulation 5 of the Regulation to make sure you comply with all requirements.
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:
- An application in either Form 2 or Form 3 to be completed in the name of, and signed by the applicant
- Form 2 relates to applications made under 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
- Form 3 relates to applications made by the appellant/respondent under 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.
- Indemnity certificate issued under section 15.
- A copy of any relevant judgment or court order.
- An order of the registrar stating the amount at which a costs statement has been assessed for all or part of the costs claimed (if applicable).
- Documentary evidence of any payment of costs made by you or on your behalf. For example, a receipt or confirmation of an online funds transfer or other bank transfer (only required if you are applying under section 16(1)(a)).
- The respondent’s costs of the appeal (only required if you are applying under section 16(1)(b)).
- Evidence of the appellant’s costs of the appeal (only required if you are applying under section 16(2).
- An itemised bill of costs for any other costs claimed. This is a document outlining the date, the purpose and the amount of any cost incurred during the appeal proceedings.
- 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 and the reasons why.
- 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.
Note: Section 16 of the Act states that the Board and 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 under section 16, 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 where a matter is discontinued through no fault of the Applicant
You may have a claim on the Fund if:
- A proceeding ends because of the incapacity of the magistrate or judge
- A hearing is discontinued through no fault of the applicant, a certificate is issued, and a new trial ordered
- An appeal on a question of law is successful and a new trial is ordered
- An appeal is successful on the grounds of miscarriage of justice, and a new trial is ordered
- In criminal proceedings, a jury:
- is discharged through no fault of the applicant
- is unable to reach a verdict.
Application requirements under section 22
Before preparing your application, review sections 21 and 22 of the Act and regulation 6 of the Regulation to ensure that you comply with all requirements.
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:
- 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.
then you may apply on your client's behalf, if you submit sworn evidence of the relevant facts.
- A copy of any order, transcript or verdict and judgment record showing that the proceedings were aborted. This is only required if you are applying under section 22(2)(a).
- A copy of any order for a new trial. If the order does not show it was made after an appeal on a question of law, provide a copy of any transcript showing that fact. This is only required if you are applying under section 22(2)(b).
- An indemnity certificate in Form 8 issued under section 22(2)(c). This is only required if you are applying under section 22(2)(c).
- A statutory declaration outlining the following:
- When the order for a new trial was made
- The reason for granting a new trial
- The date of the new trial
- An overview of the costs incurred
- All receipts, invoices, trust account ledgers, or any other documents showing payment of costs incurred for the original trial proceedings (and any appeal proceedings), including invoices for all disbursements and outlays. You must itemise the fees charged for each item of work performed in accordance with the costs agreement. You are required to identify the fees claimed as thrown away or partly thrown away.
- All receipts, itemised invoices and/or other documents evidencing payment of costs incurred for any re-trial. Where the re-trial has not commenced, please provide an itemised interim invoice of all costs incurred which relate to the re-trial.
- Signed costs agreement and disclosure notice in relation to the original trial proceedings (and any appeal proceedings), including counsel’s costs disclosure notice.
Your application will be delayed if you do not provide all of the required materials. To speed up application processing, 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) the Board may also pay an amount for reasonable expenses incurred in preparing an application to the Board. If you are claiming these costs, you must provide an itemised invoice showing the reasonable costs incurred.
- 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)
The presiding judge, magistrate or justice who is authorised to issue an indemnity certificate may issue a certificate in a civil or criminal proceeding, if:
- the proceeding is discontinued, and a new trial is ordered through no fault of the conduct of the parties or their legal representatives
- a decision is overturned on appeal.
It is up to your solicitor or you to obtain the indemnity certificate. The Appeal Costs Board and Executive Legal Officer cannot help you with this.
Applications funded by Legal Aid Queensland
For applications that have been funded by Legal Aid Queensland, it is usual that:
- Legal Aid Queensland submits the relevant tax invoices directly to the Board
- 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.