Bankruptcy action in QUT racism case

Toby Mann

Two students trying to recoup legal costs against a Queensland University of Technology staffer who unsuccessfully tried to sue them over what she claimed were racist social media posts have been unable to serve her with a bankruptcy notice.

Barrister Tony Morris, who is representing the students, on Wednesday said efforts to serve the notice on Cindy Prior in person had so far failed.

"People at her house kept saying she wasn't there," Mr Morris said outside the Federal Court in Brisbane.

The students, Calum Thwaites and Jackson Powell, are trying to claw back $10,780 in legal costs awarded to them after Ms Prior's racial discrimination lawsuit was thrown out last year.

Ms Prior had attempted to sue the Mr Thwaites, Mr Powell and a third student Alex Wood, along with the university, for $250,000 under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

The controversial section makes it unlawful for anyone to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" another person or group on the grounds of race, colour or ethnicity.

Ms Prior had argued in court documents she was unable to continue working face-to-face with white people following a series of allegedly racist Facebook comments posted after Mr Wood and two other students were asked to leave an indigenous-only computer lab at QUT in 2013.

The case was dismissed by Justice John Dowsett in November and he later ordered Ms Prior pay the students' legal costs.

Ms Prior didn't appear on Wednesday when the court ordered the bankruptcy notice could be served via email, SMS, post and delivery to her WA address.

Mr Morris said the delay in serving the notice would only increase the court costs.

Outside court, Mr Thwaites said he was hoping the matter would soon end and he could get on with life.

"It's just an unnecessary addition to the process," he said.

The matter returns to court on July 19.