Guide to Parties - Types of Conferences in the Civil Jurisdiction of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal

The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) may require parties to attend a preliminary conference under section 33 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008 (The ACAT Act).

Broadly speaking, there are 5 different ways a preliminary conference is listed in the ACAT’s civil jurisdiction:

  1. Conference and Determination: For matters in which $3,000 or less is claimed and there is no counter claim, a preliminary conference will often be listed for approximately 45 minutes.  If the matter does not resolve, the matter will then proceed to a hearing. The hearing will usually take place on the same day.  
  2. Conference: For matters in which $3,001 - $15,000 is claimed (or where the claim is under $3,000 and there is a counterclaim) the matter will be listed for a conference for approximately 1 hour. If the matter does not resolve, directions will be made and the matter will proceed to a hearing on a different day.
  3. Conference and Evaluation: For a matter in which over $15,000 is claimed, the Tribunal may sometimes decide to list a 2 -3 hour Conference and Evaluation.  For a Conference and Evaluation, you will need to prepare a Case Summary and Position Statement beforehand.  Your listing notice will give you further information about what this involves. If your matter is not listed for a Conference and Evaluation, it may be listed for a 1 hour preliminary conference, or a directions hearing.
  4. Adjourned Conference: In some limited circumstances, the ACAT will decide that it is appropriate to adjourn a conference, or conduct more than one conference in your matter.
  5. Conference after transfer from the ACT Magistrates Court: An application for transfer can only be made in relation to matters that were lodged in the ACT Magistrates Court prior to 15 December 2016.  A decision will be made by the ACT Magistrates Court about whether or not the matter will be transferred to ACAT.  Matters that are transferred to ACAT will be listed in the first instance for a 1 ½ hour preliminary conference.