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How do I know which law to use if I want to take action about an education issue?

Video: How would I know which law to use if I want to take action about an education issue?

One of the easiest ways to decide which law to use is to get help from a lawyer. You can find a private lawyer (these can cost a lot of money), or you can talk to a community legal service like the Disability Discrimination Legal Service, Villamanta Legal Service or Legal Aid.

Also, the following information might help you start thinking about which law might be helpful.

Disability Discrimination Act

If you complain using the Disability Discrimination Act, you complaint will go to Australian Human Rights Commission. If you can’t get agreement through this process and want to go further, you will end up in the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court.

If you lose your case in either of these courts, you will have to pay the legal costs of the side who won the case. This means that if you have any money, or own a house, it might be very risky.

Equal Opportunity Act

If you complaint using the Equal Opportunity Act, your complaint will go to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. If you can’t get agreement through this process and want to go further, you will end up in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. If you lose your case, you will not usually have to pay the legal costs of the side who won. But there are special times (called ‘exceptional circumstances’) where you might have to pay these costs.

In past cases, those ‘exceptional circumstances’ have included when:

  • A person was found to have lied in witness statements given to the Tribunal
  • A person was told that their case was very weak, but they went to the Tribunal anyway