Report No. 272
E. Tribunal System in Australia
2.24 Tribunals form an important part of the Australian judicial system. They provide citizens with an independent and impartial review of Government decisions that affect their interests. They also reduce the burden on a congested Civil Court system. They provide relatively simple, low-cost access to a swift and fair justice service to the citizens and corporations across Australia.39
39 The Development of Tribunals in Australia, available at:
https://www.mcgirrtech.com/developmentof- tribunals-in-australia/ (last visited on 07-08-2017).
2.25 In 1975, the Australian Government established the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a general Administrative Tribunal to review a broad range of Government decisions which include social security, veterans entitlements, Commonwealth employees compensation, taxation, migration, freedom of information, corporations, insurance, fisheries and many other areas. Other Administrative Tribunals established by the Commonwealth include the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Veterans Review Board and the Migration and Refugee Review Tribunals, National Native Title Tribunal and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.
2.26 There is a range of Tribunals in the States which review administrative decisions of the Governments. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has jurisdiction to determine a wide range of private disputes. The Administrative Decisions Tribunal in New South Wales has a limited jurisdiction in relation to private disputes. Tribunals such as the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal of New South Wales are primarily concerned with resolving private disputes such as building and tenancy disputes.
Commonwealth Tribunals are strictly Administrative Tribunals whereas the State Tribunals are both Administrative as well as Civil.40 In several Australian States like Queensland and New South Wales, Tribunals function as the equivalent of a Small Claims Court. The Court of Appeal is a division of the Supreme Court which hears all appeals from the Supreme and District Courts as well as various Tribunals.41 Some of the Acts and the Tribunals functioning thereunder are set out herein below:
40 Tribunals in Australia: Their Roles and Responsibilities, available at: http://www.aat.gov.au/aboutthe- aat/engagement/speeches-and-papers/the-honourable-justice-garry-downes-am-formerpre/ tribunals-in-australia-their-roles-and-responsib (last visited on 07-08-2017).
41 Queensland Court's, available at: http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/courts/court-of-appeal (last visited on 07-08-2017).
Name of Acts
|Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act, 1975||Administrative Appeal Tribunal|
|Equal Opportunity Act, 1984||Equal Opportunity Tribunal|
|Migration Act, 1958||Migration Review Tribunal|
|Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, 2013||New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal|
|Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 1993||Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal|
|Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, 2009||Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal|
|State Administrative Tribunal Act, 2004||State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia|
|Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, 1998||Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal|
|Workers Rehabilitation and Conciliation Act, 1988||Workers Rehabilitation and Conciliation Tribunal|