Consumer law: Avoiding court

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You are encouraged to try to resolve your claim without the need for a court hearing. There are a number of ways you can seek an early resolution of your matter including informally or following court-ordered mediation.


The quickest and easiest way for an applicant to resolve a dispute is to use the other party’s internal complaint handling options. You could also try talking or writing to them to try to resolve the matter by agreement.

Another option is to try to resolve your dispute with the help of a third-party mediator. Community justice centres and some private dispute resolution providers offer free or low-cost mediation services.


Sometimes, you will be ordered to attend mediation with a specially trained registrar of the Court. If mediation is arranged, you must attend, and you will be expected to participate in the mediation process. This means being ready to argue your case and having all your evidence ready.

Alternatively, the parties may agree to use a private mediator appointed under the scheme conducted by the law society or independent bar of the state or territory in which the proceeding was commenced, or otherwise as agreed.

By consent between the parties

If you and the other party resolve your dispute at any time before the judge delivers a decision, you may notify the Court that you have reached agreement. You will need to send the Court registry a draft of what you have agreed, signed by each party and stating that it is a ‘consent order’. Either party may send the draft order by email, provided the other party is copied on the email.


An applicant can choose to discontinue the application at any time by filing a Notice of discontinuance with the Court.

For more information about resolving your dispute see Dispute resolution.