Rowbotham applications

A Rowbotham application is used to request government funding when someone charged with a serious crime has been denied legal aid. It is filed in court by the criminal defence lawyer when a client has been charged with a serious crime.

If a Rowbotham application is approved, a Rowbotham order is provided. It indicates that the criminal charges against an accused cannot proceed unless the government pays for a lawyer to represent the accused.

The Ministry of the Attorney General has implemented a faster process for applications for state funded counsel Rowbotham orders—for applicants who have counsel assisting them and whose applications will be heard at the Superior Court of Justice.

The client must meet the following conditions to be considered:

  • The client must have exhausted all of their legal aid requests for review.
  • The client is facing serious and complex charges.
  • The legal matter is proceeding in one of the pilot locations in Superior Court.
  • The client’s immediate family is unable to fund legal services.
  • The client already has a lawyer
  • The prosecuting Crown is seeking a term of imprisonment
  • LAO has identified the client as potentially eligible for this pilot program and has advised the client’s lawyer.



If you would like more information, please send in your request to LAO’s General Case Management Office via