Civil justice

Civil justice

Our work in civil law aims to contribute to a more inclusive and rights-respecting community. We help people with social security, mental health, guardianship and administration, infringements, immigration, tenancy, debt, discrimination, sexual harassment and victims of crime issues.

Economic and Social Rights

We contribute to the alleviation of poverty and social exclusion by providing advocacy to help resolve problems that would otherwise lead to entrenched disadvantage. These include problems relating to social security, tenancy, significant fines debt and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We also engage in strategic advocacy to influence systems to be efficient, fair and respectful to people. This team has been created from our Commonwealth Entitlements and Social Inclusion sub-programs and commenced in February 2018.


We promote and protect substantive equality by addressing individual and systemic discrimination through advice, casework, legal education and strategic advocacy. We work to enable people to obtain and retain employment, to remain engaged with key service and education providers, to receive fair compensation and to use the law to help stop discrimination, sexual harassment, and other unlawful conduct occurring again in the future.

Mental Health and Disability Law 

We provide advice and representation in relation to laws that impact the liberty, dignity and autonomy of people with a mental health diagnosis or cognitive disability. We work to minimise restrictions on these rights as well as help to ensure the justice and health systems operate fairly.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) supports people who are receiving compulsory psychiatric treatment to have as much say as possible about their assessment, treatment and recovery. Our advocates are ‘on the side’ of people receiving compulsory treatment and are independent from hospitals and mental health services. Learn more at the IMHA website.

The Independent Family Advocacy and Support

Independent Family Advocacy and Support (IFAS) is a pilot service that provides non-legal advocacy and support to parents and primary carers who are involved in the child protection system at the early stages. Our dedicated advocates work with people to identify what they need, how to get there and support them to understand their rights and responsibilities in the system. Learn more about Independent Family Advocacy and Support.


We provide advice and representation to asylum seekers and other vulnerable non-citizens primarily in relation to judicial review of administrative decisions. We also engage in strategic advocacy to ensure that legal processes are fair and transparent and assist new migrants by providing community legal education to help understand the law.

More information

Read more about our program areas in our annual report

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