Claims for criminal matters are prepared and submitted to the Appeal Costs Board (ACB) by a legal practitioner. All indemnity certificates granted in civil matters are prepared by the courts and submitted to the ACB by legal practitioners. The documentation required, and the procedures to follow, to make a claim are set out in the ACB’s guidelines (available at The requirements for each application may vary according to the type of proceeding involved. Under section 35D of the AC Act, applications must be lodged with the ACB no later than 12 months after the final determination of the matter to which the indemnity certificate relates.


Jamie Moffat

Secretary, Appeal Costs Board

The Appeal Costs Board

Introduction to the Appeal Costs Board

The Appeal Costs Board (ACB) is responsible for the administration of the Appeal Costs Act 1998 (Vic) (‘AC Act’).

The ACB serves a function similar to that of a compensation tribunal: in certain circumstances it may partly reimburse people for legal costs incurred as a result of circumstances beyond their control (e.g. judicial errors).

Legal costs that can be reimbursed include:

  • solicitors’ fees;
  • barristers’ fees;
  • witness expenses;
  • interpreters’ fees. 

Costs that cannot be reimbursed include wages lost because an applicant attended court.

(For more information about which legal costs can be reimbursed, see ‘More about legal costs’.)

The six categories of reimbursement costs are:

Civil trials:

  1. successful appeals;
  2. discontinued trials;

Criminal trials:

3. adjournments;

4. successful appeals;

5. appeals by the Director of Public Prosecutions;

6. discontinued trials.

Indemnity certificates

Before a matter can be considered by the ACB, the relevant court (i.e. the court in which the matter was heard) must issue an indemnity certificate.

Neither the ACB nor the ACB Secretary can issue certificates.

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