Parties involved in a complaint with Equal Opportunity Tasmania can choose at any time to be represented by a lawyer or advocate during the complaint handling process.
During the investigation
- You need to apply in writing to the Commissioner for 'authorisation' or 'permission' to be represented during the investigation process of a complaint.
- The Commissioner will deal with the lawyer or advocate and all letters will be sent to the lawyer or advocate and not the party.
- It is the responsiblity of the lawyer/advocate to keep the party informed.
At dispute resolutions
Representation requests may be granted once a formal request has been made in writing to the Commissioner or by completing an application form. You can request representation or to have an accompanying person attend.
A representative is a person who speaks on behalf of the complainant or respondent and therefore has 'speaking rights'.
An 'accompanying person' is a support person. They have no speaking rights during the resolution unless during the process both complainant and respondent agree that the accompanying person may speak.
At any stage of the complaint process you can obtain legal advice, at your own expense, from a lawyer or advocate, without having to get authorisation or permission from the Commissioner. The person obtaining legal advice does not need to tell the Commissioner that they have obtained the advice, for it is everyone's right to do so.
Companies, corporations or departments
If a company, corporation or department has been named as a respondent to a complaint, no 'permission' or 'authorisation' is needed for a person in authority, with the powers to negotiate a settlement, to speak on behalf of the company.
If the company wishes to be represented by a lawyer or advocate during the investigation or resolution process they must seek approval from the Commissioner.