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6. What if the conciliation is not successful? If I cannot afford legal costs, can I get legal assistance from outside sources?

If the conciliation is not successful, the complainant can apply to the EOC for legal assistance to commence a civil lawsuit in the District Court. The granting of legal assistance by the EOC is not guaranteed. It may be granted if the EOC thinks that it is unreasonable, because of the complexity of the case or the complainant's position in relation to the respondent, to expect the complainant to deal with the case unaided.


Legal assistance may include the giving of legal advice, representation by the EOC's lawyers, legal representation by outside lawyers or any other form of assistance the EOC considers appropriate. A committee of the EOC considers all applications. If you wish to seek further information from the EOC, please click here.


If you fail to get legal assistance from the EOC, you may consider the Legal Aid Scheme run by the Legal Aid Department. Before obtaining legal aid, you need to go through a financial means test and a case merits test. For more details, please go to another topic – Legal Aid.