VCAT and access to justice

25 September 2013
The operations and decisions of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) have a significant impact on our client group

VCAT’s decisions can result in the eviction of a person from their home or a limitation being placed on a person’s autonomy to manage their finances or lifestyle.

Related law reform submissions:

  • Rural and Regional Tenant Duty Lawyer Clinic (Moe) (November 2012) – in 2012 Homeless Law ran a pilot duty lawyer clinic in the Residential Tenancies List at VCAT in Moe. This report provides case studies of the clients assisted through this project.  A major finding of the report is the need to address tenant attendance at Residential Tenancies List hearings as a matter of urgency. [attached]


  • Submission to the VCAT Legislation Reform Project (September 2012) – Homeless Law regularly represents clients in the Residential Tenancies List of VCAT in which decisions can result in the eviction of a person from their home.  We made five recommendations for improving access to justice at VCAT.  The key recommendation – legislative amendment is needed to give VCAT jurisdiction to consider human rights in proceedings where social housing providers are seeking to evict tenants. PDF iconHPLC Submission - VCAT Legislation Reform Project.pdf


  • VCAT Fair Hearing Practice Note – in September 2010, Homeless Law made a joint submission with the Human Rights Law Centre on the role VCAT plays in protecting the right to a fair hearing and facilitating access to justice in Victoria.  The submission highlights the importance of particular aspects of the right for marginalised and disadvantaged individuals and groups, such as access to legal advice and representation, and the right to procedural fairness.  The current Fair Hearing Practice Note incorporates important aspects of the joint Homeless Law and HRLC submission. PDF iconpractice_note_vcat_3_fair_hearing_obligation-1-1-2013.pdf


  • Joint submission by Homeless Law and Seniors Rights Victoria to the 2009 VCAT Review – 22 recommendations for VCAT to improve access to justice for all Victorians, in particular older Victorians and people with an experience of homelessness. PDF iconSRV and HPLC_FINAL VCAT submission 120609.pdf