Research report: Review of Tenants’ and Consumers’ Experience of VCAT

There are “very substantial barriers” that inhibit people from accessing justice at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), according to a new research report.

Consumer Action Law Centre, together with the Tenants Union of Victoria and WestJustice, commissioned Cameronralph Navigator to review the experience of consumers and tenants at the tribunal and to evaluate VCAT against benchmarks for industry-based ombudsman schemes.  Like VCAT, these schemes aim to provide fair and accessible dispute resolution in an informal and timely manner.

As the report highlights, a high quality dispute resolution process is not possible without a sound understanding of the experience of users of its service.

The research was commissioned to inform three reviews currently underway:

  • Department of Justice’s Access to Justice Review;
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria’s review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997; and
  • Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand’s review of the Australian Consumer Law.

The report makes 22 recommendations to enhance the accessibility, fairness, transparency and effectiveness of the Civil Claims List and Residential Tenancies List at VCAT.

The Review of Tenants’ and Consumers’ Experience of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal report is available here.

Read the full report here [PDF]

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