Legal advice and representation
All parties involved in a matter before QCAT must represent themselves. Whether you are represented or not you can still get legal advice about your rights.
In some cases, a party is automatically able to be represented. QCAT will always agree to representation:
- for a child or person who has impaired decision making represented in proceedings, or
- if the matter relates to disciplinary proceedings including a review of a disciplinary decision, or
- if the enabling Act related to the matter allows it.
All other parties must apply to QCAT if they want to be represented. QCAT may agree to a party being represented if:
- the party is a State agency
- the proceeding is likely to involve complex questions of fact or law
- another party is being represented
- all of the parties have agreed to the party being legally represented.
You can either be represented by a solicitor or someone else who acts on your behalf, for example an advocate for a person with impaired capacity.
To apply to be legally represented, you can complete and lodge an Application for leave to be represented online. Completing this form online will save you time and you won't need to lodge a hard copy.
OR you can complete an Application for leave to be represented
Community legal centres
A complete list of community legal centres in Queensland is available from Community Legal Centres Queensland, the peak body representing funded and unfunded centres across the state.
You can also inquire about legal advice from these community legal centres.
Caxton Legal Centre
The Caxton Legal Centre is an independent, non-profit community organisation providing free legal and social work advice, assistance and referrals to the general public. Please note that the Caxton Legal Centre does not provide advice about building or other business and commercial disputes.
The Park and Village Information Link (PAVIL) is a specialist service providing free information and legal assistance for residents and prospective residents of retirement villages and manufactured home parks in Queensland. You can contact PAVIL for information about the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators and assistance towards resolving disputes. You can access more information online or phone PAVIL on 07 3214 6333.
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated is an independent, community-based systems and legal advocacy organisation for people with disability in Queensland
Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House
The Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House Incorporated (QPILCH) is an independent, non-profit community based legal organisation that coordinates the provision of pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups.
QPILCH operates a Self Representation Service which provides free legal advice and assistance to people involved in particular QCAT matters including guardianship and administration, children and young people, anti-discrimination matters and information and privacy rights.
If you are an enforcement debtor (ie you are the party stated as owing money), you may be eligible for the enforcement hearing duty lawyer service available from the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House (QPILCH).
QPILCH has offices in Brisbane and Townsville, and assistance is available by phone for people living outside of those areas.
Seniors Legal and Support Service
The Seniors Legal and Support Service is a free legal and support service for seniors in Queensland concerned about elder abuse and financial exploitation.
Tenants Queensland is a specialist statewide community legal service for tenancy law matters and provides a free tenancy law advice service for residential tenants.
Women's Legal Service
Women's Legal Service is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice and information to women in Queensland.
Youth Advocacy Centre
The Youth Advocacy Centre offers free confidential legal and welfare assistance to young people under 17 who live in or around Brisbane. Telephone support is also provided to young people outside of Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
You can also inquire about legal help from these community organisations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd provides legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland.
Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia
Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia is a non-profit, community based advocacy service providing information, education, support and representation to enable people to understand and exercise their rights and their responsibilities.
Carers Queensland is the peak body that represents the interests of carers in Queensland. Carers Queensland’s Family Support & Advocacy Program can provide carers (throughout Queensland) with free support, information, advice and representation in regards to adult guardianship and administration matters.
Elder Abuse Prevention Unit
The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit operates under UnitingCare Community and receives funding from the Department of Communities. It promotes the right of older people to live free from abuse and provides a telephone information, referral and support service.