Representation at QCAT
All parties involved in a matter before the tribunal are expected to represent themselves.
Sometimes a solicitor or other person can represent a party. A representative acts on behalf of the party.
Representation without permission of the Tribunal
A party has the right to have solicitor or other representation, without applying to the tribunal for permission, if:
- they are a child or person who has impaired decision-making; or
- the matter relates to disciplinary proceedings including review of a disciplinary decision; or
- the enabling Act related to the matter or the QCAT Rules allow it.
Representation needing permission of the Tribunal
All other parties must apply to the tribunal for permission to be represented.
The tribunal will only give permission for a party to be represented if it is in the interests of justice to do so. The tribunal may consider any of the following:
- if the party seeking permission is a State agency
- if the proceeding is likely to involve complex questions of fact or law
- if another party is being represented
- if all of the parties have agreed to a party being legally represented
- any other relevant factors.
Limitations on who can represent a party
A party may have solicitor or other representation. If the representative is not a solicitor, the tribunal must be satisfied that they are appropriate to represent the party. In minor civil disputes, a party may apply for permission to be represented by a mercantile agent or a debt collector. However, it is a matter for the tribunal in each case as to whether the proposed representative is appropriate to represent that party. In some circumstances, solicitors who have been subject to disciplinary proceedings and found guilty of professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct are disqualified from representing a party in the tribunal.
A corporation must provide a certificate of authority to show the proposed representative is appropriate. Anyone else may be asked by the tribunal to provide a certificate of authority. A sample certificate of authority is attached to Form 56 - Application for leave to be represented .
No permission needed for legal advice
Parties do not need the tribunal’s permission to get legal advice or assistance. Solicitors can help parties collect and prepare evidence and documents, write submissions, and prepare for the hearing without needing the tribunal’s permission. It is only if a party wants a solicitor to represent them at the tribunal that permission is needed.
Applying for permission
To apply for permission to have solicitor or other representation, please complete and lodge Form 56 - Application for leave to be represented . It is important that parties tell the tribunal in detail why they want to be represented.
You can save time and complete your Form 56 - 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.