It is important to be represented before the hearing as adverse findings may have a severe impact upon a person’s career, registration or ability to carry on in business. This will affect future business prospects and earnings in relation to general and business reputation.
Motor Car traders
Tribunals are less formal than courts and are usually a quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes. Often people involved in a case at the tribunal will be able to represent themselves.
VCAT deals with a wide range of everyday legal disputes. It has three divisions, each specialising in different types of cases:
the Civil Division deals with consumer matters residential and retail tenancy disputes, owners corporation disputes, sale and ownership of property, and use or flow of water between properties
the Administrative Division deals with applications from people seeking review of government decisions that affect them, including decisions from the Transport Accident Commission, state taxation, legal services, freedom of information applications, assessments by the Victorian Workcover Authority, business regulation and planning decisions
the Human Rights Division deals with matters that include guardianship administration, equal opportunity, racial and religious vilification, health and information privacy and decisions made by the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
VCAT encourages parties to settle their disputes before the matter goes to a hearing, by attending mediation or a compulsory conference. Hearings and mediations take place in central Melbourne as well as in venues across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
See VCAT’s website for more information about the lists and types of cases that can be dealt with at the tribunal.
Other Victorian tribunals include the Mental Health Tribunal and the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal.