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What is an Appeal?

In an appeal you ask the ACAT Appeals Tribunal to set aside the original decision however an appeal is not just a rehearing of the original dispute. For your appeal to succeed therefore you must convince the tribunal that an error was made in the original decision.

Constitution of the Appeals Tribunal

The appeals tribunal is made up of one or more presidential members or alternatively one or more presidential members and one or more non-presidential members.

Notice of Appeal Requirements

To lodge an appeal you need to complete an Application for Appeal from an ACAT Decision form and pay the application fee. This will make you the appellant.

Your application form to the tribunal must state:

  • your full name and postal address, email address (if you have one), contact telephone numbers, and;
  • if you are represented by someone else their full name and full contact details; and
  • the ACAT file number; and
  • the date of the decision appealed from and the date you received the original decision; and
  • the reasons for the appeal - which must include the following;
    • the nature of the case;
    • whether you will seek to put further evidence before the tribunal and, if so, the nature of the evidence and what you are seeking to prove;
    • You must briefly and specifically state the grounds relied on in support of the appeal; and
    • the order sought; and
    • whether you intend to apply for the appeal to be removed to the Supreme Court.

What are the time limits for filing an Appeal?

An appeal must be filed in the tribunal within 28 days after the decision is made although you may seek an extension of time if your application is accompanied by a statement that shows:

  • the nature of the case in summary form; and
  • each question involved; and
  • the reasons why the extension of time should be given

On a joint application by both parties, an appeal may be removed by the tribunal to the Supreme Court or the tribunal may refer the appeal to the Supreme court on a question of law that arises or when an application raises an issue of public importance.

Restrictions on ACAT Appeals

If the original decision made by ACAT involved the review of a decision made under the Heritage Act 2004, the Planning and Development Act 2007 or the Tree Protection Act 2005 you must seek leave to appeal the ACAT decision to the Supreme Court on a question of law.

Conduct of an Appeal

In order to conduct an appeal the appeal president may either set a date for an appeal conference or set a directions hearing.

If a date is set for an appeal conference, the appellant and each respondent must attend and at the conference the tribunal may make inquiries or require further information from a party or give directions it considers appropriate to have the appeal made ready for hearing.

Similarly if the appeal president sets a date for a directions hearing the tribunal may give directions it considers appropriate to have the appeal made ready for hearing or it may adjourn the hearing.

Failure to Comply with Directions

If you, the appellant, fail to comply with a direction from the tribunal the tribunal can dismiss the appeal, stay the appeal until you comply with the direction or even if you consider that further information is required the tribunal may still continue with the appeal based on the information it has at hand.

If the respondent fails to comply with a direction the tribunal can enter a default judgment in your favour or continue with the appeal in the absence of the information.

General Powers

The appeal tribunal has all the powers and duties of the tribunal that made the original order. It can draw inferences of fact and receive further evidence about questions of facts orally in a hearing, by affidavit or in another way.

It can confirm, amend or set aside an order or make any other order that it considers appropriate.

If the appeal tribunal considers it has insufficient material before it to allow it to make a decision it may direct that the appeal be adjourned for further consideration, proceed on the material available or it may make a direction about the issues to be decided, take account or make such inquires as it considers appropriate.

Where can you find more detailed information about appeals?

Further information on appeals may be obtained by visiting the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal Procedure Rules, Part 8 of the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal Act 2008 and by following this link to the Appeal Flowchart.