Self-represented Litigants’ Service
In our last newsletter, we mentioned our involvement in the Queensland Public Interest Clearing House (QPILCH) and its Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic.
Our solicitors also volunteer at QPILCH’s self-represented litigants’ services at the Supreme and District Courts and the Queensland Civil Appeals Tribunal (QCAT).
These services assist people who represent themselves in Court or QCAT, perhaps because they cannot afford or obtain legal representation, are not allowed representation (eg. in some QCAT claims) or they choose not to instruct lawyers. They receive practical advice about Court requirements and procedures. The solicitors also provide assistance drafting court documents, letters and submissions and providing advice about the litigation.
Having a lawyer explain court procedure and expectations can greatly assist a person who might otherwise find it intimidating or frightening to appear before a judge and argue against a party who has legal representation. It also assists the Court if litigants in person are familiar with court processes and requirements.
The QPILCH service fills a small, but important, gap for people who would otherwise be completely unrepresented. Our volunteer solicitors enjoy the challenges and rewards of being part of the service.