Legal advice and representation

QCAT staff cannot provide legal advice (see right hand side bar for more information).

All parties involved in a matter before QCAT must represent themselves. Whether you are represented or not you can still seek 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 a person with impaired capacity, or
  • if the matter relates to disciplinary proceedings including a review of a disciplinary decision
  • 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 for representation, 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 Form 56 - Application for leave to be represented (PDF, 353.6 KB).

You can seek legal advice about your rights from a Legal Aid Queensland or private solicitor. Access Queensland Law Society's Find a Solicitor service.

LawRight self-representation and duty lawyer service

LawRight partners with the private legal profession to deliver pro bono (free) legal services to individuals and community groups. LawRight’s services are means tested.

In QCAT, LawRight operates a Self Representation Service that provides free legal advice and help for people involved in some QCAT matters. These include guardianship and administrationchildren and young people matters and anti-discrimination . For a complete list of the matters in which the service can assist, please visit the Self Representation Service web page.

For matters caused or aggravated by family violence, LawRight offers one-off representation through a duty lawyer service. The service operates on a drop-in basis, at a number of different times each week (subject to the availability of volunteers). Please contact LawRight to discuss whether volunteers will be available on the day of your hearing.

If you are an enforcement debtor (ie, you are the party stated as owing money), and you need to attend an enforcement hearing at the Brisbane Magistrates Court, you may be eligible for free legal representation from the LawRight Enforcement Hearing Duty Lawyer Service.

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 centre’s 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.

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated is an independent, community based systems and legal advocacy organisation for people with disability in Queensland

If you are an enforcement debtor (ie, you are the party stated as owing money), and you need to attend an enforcement hearing at the Brisbane Magistrates Court, you may be eligible for free legal representation from the LawRight Enforcement Hearing Duty Lawyer Service.

Seniors’ Legal and Support Service
The Seniors’ Legal and Support Service offers free support for Queensland seniors concerned about elder abuse and financial exploitation.

Tenants Queensland
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 years who live in or around Brisbane. Telephone support is also provided to young people outside of Brisbane and throughout Queensland.

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Community organisations

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 (ADA Australia) is a not-for-profit, independent, community based advocacy and education service that supports and improves the wellbeing of older people and people with disability. ADA Australia can provide advocacy support to the person for their guardianship or administration hearings.

Carers Queensland
Carers Queensland is the peak body that represents the interests of carers in Queensland. Their Family Support and Advocacy program provides free support, information, advice and representation for adult guardianship and administration matters.

Elder Abuse Prevention Unit
The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit operates under UnitingCare Queensland and receives funding from the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors. It promotes the right of older people to live free from abuse and provides a telephone information, referral and support service.

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