Monica, a first year student studying a Bachelor of Law at QUT, is passionate about law and helping people. She spent the day at the Office of Fair Trading learning how complaints are resolved and witnessed a hearing at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Monica shares her justice journey.
My justice journey experience took me to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) where I spent the day learning about fair trading services and job shadowing roles within Case Assessment and Conciliation as well as Claims and Recoveries.
The OFT provides a wide range of key services from assisting consumers with their rights and responsibilities, helping consumers resolve complaints with businesses, investigating whether businesses may have broken the law, checking the safety of products and licensing a range of industries from property agents, security providers to motor dealers - just to name a few.
I started the morning with the Case Assessment and Conciliation team learning how they receive and assess consumer complaints. The team explained the various options open for OFT to deal with consumer complaints and how they manage more complicated scenarios. They told me stories of conciliation, how it was delivered and what difference it makes for both parties in disputes. These were real life situations that I didn’t know anything about until now.
In the afternoon, I moved to Claims and Recoveries and attended a hearing at Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) with the Senior Recoveries Officer. I got to experience first-hand how the law and legislation works at a tribunal hearing. QCAT is an independent tribunal that helps resolve more difficult cases such as consumer and trader disputes. I read QCAT cases involving OFT and learnt how they do statutory interpretation, which is practical learning that I can bring back to university.
This justice journey was what I expected and more. I enjoyed taking note of the staff in their roles and seeing what I am learning at university play out in the real world. I got to exercise my important legal skills of reading precedents and interpreting legislation based on reading case examples that took place at QCAT and the Court of Appeals. I learnt more about QCAT and experienced my first court like hearing, which I found very exciting. Hearing how matters are dealt with and the tone and language used to resolve and handle unforeseen issues that arose was a great opportunity for a student. I really enjoyed my time at OFT and would like to thank them for this memorable experience.