Duty Barristers appear in Victorian courts on a voluntary basis to provide pro bono assistance to unrepresented litigants.
The Bar's Duty Barrister Scheme was set up to provide unrepresented litigants the option of pro bono assistance in Court appearances. Through the scheme, volunteer barristers are rostered to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on a daily basis, and in Dandenong Magistrates' Court on Monday and Wednesday each week. The scheme also provides barristers (counsel) to assist the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the County Court on an ad hoc basis. Access to the scheme is assigned either by the relevant Court or by Victoria Legal Aid.
The Duty Barristers' Scheme was awarded a Victoria Law Foundation Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award in August 2008 and a Law Council of Australia National Lawyers Award in November 2008.
Details of the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Scheme are available here.
Click here for information about other services providing legal assistance.