Disputes under the ACL

In relation to the ACL, remedies can also be obtained in Victoria under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic) application of the ACL.  This may be a more accessible jurisdiction for many clients, because matters will be heard in VCAT, which is a more informal and less expensive forum.

You will need to ask for leave to appear, because legal representation is not ordinarily permitted for consumer and trader disputes relating to amounts under $10,000.

The types of claims this will be an option for include claims seeking orders in relation to:

  • misleading and deceptive conduct (section 18 of the ACL and section 12DA of the ASIC Act);
  • the making of false representations in relation to the sale of goods and services (section 29 of the ACL and section 12DB of the ASIC Act);
  • unconscionable conduct (sections 20-22 of the ACL and sections 12CA and12CB of the ASIC Act); and
  • unfair terms in consumer contracts and standard form consumer contracts (sections 23-28 of the ACL and sections12BF-12BM of the ASIC Act).

VCAT can (amongst other things) review, vary or cancel a contract; declare a term to be unfair; or declare that a debt is not due.

Refer to the VCAT Civil Claims webpage for more information in relation to applying to VCAT under the ACL. However, note that VCAT does not have jurisdiction in relation to credit matters.

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