To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(a), ensure that the policy, program or legislation you are working on establishes procedures or processes:

  • for informing people charged with a criminal offence of the necessary information relevant to the offence with which they have been charged without delay;
  • for identifying when people charged with a criminal offence may require the provision of translation facilities;
  • for identifying when people charged with a criminal offence may require specialised communications tools or technology due to communication difficulties or other disabilities.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(b):

  • ensure that there are procedures to ensure that persons charged with a criminal offence are aware of their right to legal representation;
  • ensure that there are procedures that enable an accused to access information and material to be used as evidence in criminal proceedings;
  • ensure that there are procedures that enable a self-represented accused to access legal and research materials;
  • ensure that an accused has the opportunity to engage and communicate with a lawyer under conditions that enable confidential communications;
  • ensure that time limits for lodging appeals or applications and seeking adjournments allow a reasonable time for the defence to be prepared;
  • ensure that documentary and other forms of evidence necessary for the preparation of the defence are disclosed within an adequate time before the relevant hearing.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(c):

  • ensure that the policy, program or legislation you are working on will not unduly delay the investigation and prosecution of offences.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(d):

  • ensure that there are procedures for informing persons charged with a criminal offence of their right to legal representation or to defend themselves in person;
  • ensure that there are procedures in place so that hearings are not held in the absence of the accused unless he or she has been given adequate notice and the opportunity to attend and has failed to do so, and it is in the interests of the administration of justice that the hearing proceeds.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(e) and s.25(2)(f), ensure that the legislation, policy or program you are working on does not introduce arbitrary or discriminatory criteria for applying and qualifying for legal aid.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(g) and s.25(2)(h), ensure that the policy, program or legislation you are working on:

  • preferably provides for witnesses to give evidence orally and for the accused to have the opportunity to examine the witnesses;
  • gives the accused sufficient opportunity to challenge the prosecution evidence;
  • where it allows for evidence to be given by vulnerable witnesses in the absence of the accused, provides proper authorisation in clearly defined circumstances for this to occur.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(i):

  • ensure that there are procedures for informing an accused who does not speak or understand English of the right to the free assistance of an interpreter who would provide an oral translation;
  • ensure that the relevant agencies are aware that competent and accurate translations of all relevant documents and interpretation of proceedings are provided to an accused who does not speak or understand English.

To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(j):

  • ensure that there are procedures for informing an accused who has speech or other communication difficulties of the right to free assistance;
  • ensure that there are proper processes to facilitate competent and accurate translations of all relevant documents and interpretation of proceedings including police interviews and trials;
  • consult or facilitate consultation with interpretation and translation service providers to determine the best way the relevant services can be delivered;
  • seek the views of the groups within the community who are representative of those who may be affected by speech and hearing communication difficulties.


To improve compliance with s. 25(2)(k), ensure the relevant legislation, policy or program you are working on:

  • provides for, or recognises, that an accused should be informed of the right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination;
  • recognises that, at any stage of the prosecution, judges have the authority to consider any allegations made that the accused’s right to remain silent was violated or to exclude evidence of the accused on the ground that it was obtained by compulsion;
  • provides for, or recognises, that evidence that has been unfairly or improperly compelled from a person may be excluded at trial.