ACAT procedures are conducted in English. The Tribunal can only make arrangements to use an interpreter in limited circumstances.
The ACAT will arrange and pay for an interpreter in Mental Health and Guardianship and Energy and Water matters for the person that the case is about. This will be arranged on request or if the Tribunal itself deems it necessary or desirable.
Interpreters can be used for other cases but the person requiring the interpreter must arrange and pay for the service.
A case will not usually be adjourned because a party needs an interpreter but has not arranged one before attending a hearing or conference.
A telephone interpreter service is available by telephoning 131 450. A fee may be charged for this service.
To access Applications/Forms for this section, please click here.
Part 4A ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008 (ACT) deals with Administrative Review. Section 9 of the ACAT Act states that a person may apply to the tribunal if an authorising law provides that an application may be made
There are many authorising laws. Here is a List of authorising legislation that was current at the beginning of 2011
Section 6 of the ACAT Act, which sets out ACAT's objects, provides that ACAT must inter alia “enhance the quality of decision making under legislation and...encourage, and bring about, compliance in decision making under legislation.” It does this by exercising its power to review “reviewable decisions.”
A “reviewable decision” is a decision that may be reviewed by ACAT under an authorising law (s22S and 67A ACAT Act). You should note that some decisions require internal review before ACAT can review them (s22S, 67B and certain authorising laws). Some authorising laws significantly limit access to ACAT review e.g. the Planning and Development Act.
Reviewable decisions are made by a “Decision Maker”, which may be a person, the Territory or another authority. It need not be a person as such. Common examples of decision makers whose decisions sometimes come to ACAT include ACTPLA, the Conservator of Flora and Fauna and the ACT Revenue Office.
Decision-makers have extensive obligations to give notice of (s67A) and provide reasons for (Div 4A.2 in particular s 22B) their decisions to people whose interests are affected (s 22Q). These are delivered in “reasons statements”.
An application to ACAT to review decision must be made within 28 days after the decision is made or notice of it is given (section 10 ACAT Act). In exercising its functions under this Act, the tribunal is statutorily obliged (s7 ACAT Act) to ensure the procedures of the tribunal are as simple, quick, inexpensive and informal as is consistent with achieving justice.
The Tribunal as empowered by s68(2) of the ACAT Act may exercise any function given by an Act to the entity for making the decision. It must (s68(3)) do one of confirm, vary, or set aside the decision and either make a substitute decision or remit the matter that is the subject of the decision for reconsideration by the decision maker. In reaching its decision ACAT can take into account all material available to the original decision-maker plus anything else that has arisen up to the date of ACAT’s decision.
There is a particular category under the Act of matters that must be decided within 120 days from the date of filing. These are, as set out in s22P, matters under Heritage Act 2004, Planning and Development Act 2007 and Tree Protection Act 2005.
Of necessity, this overview is very general, because of the differences in much of the authorising legislation. If you have specific queries, you should either consult your own legal advice, or ACAT. Note however, that ACAT officers cannot give legal advice, but are limited to advising on procedural matters only.