Accessibility

We can adjust our services to make them more accessible. Contact us for more information.

Pre-hearing tours

You are welcome to arrange a tour before attending ACAT for a conference, mediation or hearing.

Hearing impairment

The National Relay Service (NRS) is a free telephone service that allows deaf or hearing and/or speech impaired clients with a TTY machine to make telephone calls to ACAT.

Clients who are deaf or hearing impaired should telephone the NRS on:

  • telephone 133 677 (for clients who are deaf or hearing impaired)
  • telephone 1300 555 727 (for clients who are both deaf/hearing impaired and speech impaired).

Let us know if you need to use a hearing loop when you attend ACAT.

Interpreters

ACAT can organise an interpreter at no cost to you through the National Translation and Interpreter Service (TIS).

Interpreters may assist by telephone or attend ACAT in person, depending on your needs and the availability of interpreters on the day.

You need to ask for an interpreter at least five days before you come to ACAT. When asking for an interpreter, tell us:

  • the language
  • dialect (if needed)
  • preferred gender of the interpreter (if important).

There may be circumstances where ACAT cannot get an interpreter. If you decide to organise and pay for your own interpreter, make sure:

You can ask us about our interpreter cards. We have interpreter cards for:

If you are given an interpreter card, show it to us when you attend ACAT so we can arrange an interpreter. We also have a language identification chart [DOC 179KB]. If you need an interpreter, this helps ACAT staff to identify the language you speak.

Visual impairment

Copies of transcripts of ACAT hearings can be provided so they can be viewed with screen reader software. Audio versions of those transcripts can also be ordered.

Assistance animals

If you have an assistance animal, please contact us to discuss how we can assist you and your assistance animal. An assistance animal should have papers and/or identification.

Disability parking

There is disability parking available outside ACAT premises on Moore Street and on Mulwala Lane.

Find out more about our location.

Technology options

There is technology at ACAT to assist you, including:

  • playing DVDs or accessing USB devices – contact us no later than five days before a conference, mediation or hearing, or bring your own device (e.g. a laptop) so that you can play the DVD or USB on it
  • public access computer and printer – available in the foyer to search some (limited) websites
  • free Wifi – available in public areas at CBRfree WiFi (limit of 250 megabytes per person per day).

To use technology at a conference, mediation or hearing, send a written request to tribunal@act.gov.au as early as possible (allow at least five days). Some technology is only available in certain hearing rooms and will need to be pre-arranged. Sometimes, to ensure compatibility, ACAT may ask you to bring your own device to display images or information.

We have information about attending ACAT by telephone.

Accessing our website

ACAT’s website is designed to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). Maintaining an accessible website is an ongoing process and we are continually working to offer a user-friendly experience. If you have any problems using our website contact us.

These tools may assist:

Vision Australia also provides information and links to resources.

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More information

Found out about:

Glossary and terms

Glossary and terms

ACT Civil and Administrative TribunalA tribunal established under the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. It may also be referred to as ACAT or Tribunal.

Adjourn (or adjournment)To suspend or postpone a preliminary conference, mediation or hearing and reschedule it for a future date.

Administrative reviewACAT has jurisdiction to review some administrative decisions made by the ACT Government. Find out about Review of ACT Government decisions.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)Also known as dispute resolution. This is a way of resolving disputes without a formal hearing. It may involve a preliminary conference or mediation. ADR is used to help parties resolve cases by agreement.

AnorMeans ‘and another’. This term is generally used to name parties to proceedings when there is more than one applicant or respondent.

Appeal TribunalA tribunal constituted under section 81 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal 2008 to review a decision of the tribunal (not all ACAT decisions are appealable at ACAT – you may need to go to the Supreme Court).

AppellantThe individual or company that appeals an ACAT decision.

Authorising lawsA law that says an application (including referrals) may be made to ACAT. An authorising law may also set out the powers ACAT has in a case. Also see ‘jurisdiction’.

ApplicantThe individual or company that brings a case to ACAT, usually by making an application.

Calling a witnessA party or their representative will ‘call a witness’ at an ACAT hearing when they ask a witness to give evidence.

CaseAlso known as a matter, dispute, application or referral. Cases come to ACAT when ACAT has jurisdiction (power) to make a decision.

Cross-examinationThe process of asking a witness questions to test or check the evidence that the witness has given to ACAT.

Deliver a decisionAlso ‘handing down a decision’. This is giving a decision about an ACAT case. It may be done verbally or in writing (or both).

DirectionsInstructions that set out what each party must do (and when), often to prepare a case for hearing.

Directions hearingA short hearing where an ACAT Member or Registrar decides how to manage a case and what needs to be done before a hearing. Find out about directions hearings.

Ex parte orderAn order made by ACAT where one or more parties were not present.

Expert reportA written report from an expert that may be used as evidence.

Expert witnessA person with specialised knowledge based on their training, study or experience. An expert can give evidence at a hearing. Find out more about witness statements.

Final directions hearingSometimes ACAT will hold a final directions hearing prior to the final hearing of an application. The purpose is to make sure the case is ready to go to a hearing and give the parties a chance to ask questions about the hearing process.

Handed upGiving documents to an ACAT Member or Registrar in a hearing.

In chambersWhen ACAT considers something without holding a hearing.

Joined party (joined/joinder)A party who was not originally a party to the dispute but has later been added to the case.

JurisdictionACAT’s authority (power) to deal with, hear and decide applications (cases).

LeaveIf someone asks for leave, they are usually asking for permission to do something.

List (or listing)A schedule (or list) of cases to be heard at ACAT each day.

Listing noticeA letter or written document from ACAT that sets out when a conference, mediation or hearing is scheduled at ACAT.

MediationA private meeting where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator (who is also an ACAT Member or Registrar). It is held under section 35 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008.

Non-publication and/or non-disclosure orderAlso called a ‘suppression order’. It is an order that requires certain information not to be published or disclosed. It is made under section 39 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. Find out about public hearings and confidentiality.

Notice to partiesA letter sent to the parties in a case that sets out the time, date and location for an ACAT conference, mediation or hearing.

Opening statementUsually means a statement made at the beginning of a hearing to outline the key points in the case. Sometimes parties are asked to give an opening statement at a mediation or preliminary conference.

Originating applicationAn application that starts an ACAT case.

Party or partiesAn individual or company directly involved in an ACAT case, for example an applicant or respondent. Find out how to identify and name parties.

Preliminary conferenceA private meeting where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of an ACAT Member or Registrar. See section 33 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. ACAT has different types of preliminary conferences.

RegistryThe administrative section of ACAT that accepts documents lodged by parties, handles enquiries and provides support for case management.

RepresentativeA person who represents or advocates for an individual or company at a conference, mediation or hearing at ACAT. For example, a legal practitioner or an attorney appointed under a general power of attorney.

Reserved decisionWhen an ACAT Member or Registrar reserves a decision (at the end of a hearing), this means they will give their decision later, either verbally or in writing (sometimes both).

RespondentThe party (or parties) against whom orders or relief is sought.

Short service orderAn order that authorises a shorter time for service (than the time otherwise required).

Serve/serviceA person who can give evidence at a hearing. Find out about witness statements.

Statement of reasonsA document that explains why ACAT made an order in a case. It sets out the law relied on by an ACAT Member or Registrar and explains how the law was applied to the facts of the case. You can request a written statement of reasons within 14 days after an order is made. Find out about statement of reasons.

StayAn order for a particular action (or decision) to be put on hold or suspended for a period of time.

SubmissionA document that sets out your side of a case or dispute and the relevant law. It is presented to ACAT either in writing, verbally or both. Find out about submissions.

SubpoenaRequires a person to appear at ACAT to give evidence or provide documents (or both). Find out about subpoenas.

Substituted service orderAn order that says how a party is to be served with an application or other documents related to the proceedings. In a civil dispute or a rental dispute, an applicant will need to consider asking for a substituted service order if they do not have a physical address for the respondent. Find out about lodging and serving documents.

WitnessA person who can give evidence at a hearing. Find out about witness statements.