The Legal Services Commissioner has announced the final legal services model for Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua, the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court in Auckland and Waitākere. The model is due to become operational on 1 July 2021.
Following consultation on a proposed legal services model, the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa recently provided feedback recommending that the current rostering model of a team lead and three defence lawyers rostered each week, be retained to ensure continuity of counsel and consistency in representation. The Law Society also recommended additional remuneration to cover the high case load and any additional administrative burdens be considered.
An evaluation of the courts in 2018-2019 recommended the AODT Court pilot be made permanent, including conducting a review of the defence counsel and supervisor roles to determine the most effective and efficient structure. While there has been no change to the level of remuneration, the Law Society welcomes the Commissioner’s decision to retain the existing model to ensure consistency of representation. Under this model, lawyers working in the AODT Courts will be rostered for 12-18 months and will work in teams of four (one team leader and three defence lawyers).
Legal Aid Services are now seeking expressions of interest from criminal legal aid providers. The following criteria will be considered:
- has duty lawyer approval, and a current criminal PAL 1 approval or above
- supports the therapeutic goals of AODT Courts
- champions the increasing use of te reo and tikanga Māori
- understands and agrees to the workload and time commitment involved
- located in the Auckland or Waitākere District Court catchments (recommended)