Victoria Legal Aid

Civil justice

We provide information, advice and representation in the area of civil and administrative law, and advocates for changes to the law that will benefit clients and the broader community.

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.

Learn more about our specialist sexual harassment and discrimination law services.

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 websiteExternal Link .


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.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

Reviewed 23 January 2024

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