Organisation

AGY-1935 | Administrative Decisions Tribunal

NSW State Archives Collection
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Full description

The Administrative Decisions Tribunal was constituted by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act, 1997 (Act No.76, 1997). (1) The Administrative Decisions Tribunal commenced operation on 6 October 1998 and was established to provide a more central agency for obtaining review of administrative decisions, and resolution of certain general complaints, such as discrimination and professional misconduct. Prior to the establishment of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal this work was spread among several tribunals and the courts. On the date of commencement the Equal Opportunity Tribunal, Legal Services Tribunal, Boxing Appeals Tribunal and the Schools Appeal Tribunal were abolished and their function were transferred to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal as part of its ‘original’ jurisdiction (2)

The objectives of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal were:
(a) i) to make decisions at first instance in relation to matters over which it is given jurisdiction by an enactment, and (ii) to review decisions made by administrators where it is given jurisdiction by an enactment to do so, and (iii) to exercise such other functions as are conferred or imposed on it by or under this or any other Act or law,
(b) to ensure that the Tribunal is accessible, its proceedings are efficient and effective and its decisions are fair,
(c) to enable proceedings before the Tribunal to be determined in an informal and expeditious manner,
(d) to provide a preliminary process for the internal review of reviewable decisions before the review of such decisions by the Tribunal,
(e) to require administrators making reviewable decisions to notify persons of decisions affecting them and of any review rights they might have and to provide reasons for their decisions on request,
(f) to foster an atmosphere in which administrative review is viewed positively as a means of enhancing the delivery of services and programs,
(g) to promote and effect compliance by administrators with legislation enacted by Parliament for the benefit of the citizens of New South Wales. (3)

The Tribunal was constituted to exercise its functions in Divisions, the General Division, the Equal Opportunity Division, and the Legal Services Division commenced operation on 6 October 1998, with the Community Services Division commencing on 1 January 1999, and the Retail Leases Division on 1 March 1999 (jurisdiction previously exercised by the Commercial Tribunal). (4)

The Act provided for the Tribunal to consist of a President, Deputy Presidents, judicial, and non judicial members (5), with the President appointed on a full time basis, and the other members appointed on either a full, or a part time, basis. An Appeal Panel of the Tribunal was established for any proceedings consisting of at least 3 members who were constituted by the President for the purpose of the proceedings. (6)

Administratively the Tribunal was placed in the Court and Tribunal Services program of the Attorney General's Department. (7)

The Revenue Division commenced operation on 1 July 2001. This Division was engaged in external merits review of decisions of the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue. (8)

In February 2003, the Appeal Panel became responsible for hearing appeals from decisions and orders of the Guardianship Tribunal while the General Division became responsible for review of decisions of the Protective Commissioner made under financial management orders, in March 2003. (9)

In 2008-2009, the Rule Committee structure was simplified with one peak Rule Committee only and no Sub-Committees. The complicated procedures that surrounded the notification and making of rules under the original Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act had been removed. (10)

From 1 July 2009 when the Attorney General's Department was abolished the Administrative Decisions Tribunal became a branch of the new Principal Department, the Department of Justice and Attorney General. (11)

From 4 April 2011 when the name of the Department of Justice and Attorney General was changed the Administrative Decisions Tribunal became a branch of the Department of Attorney General and Justice. (12)

The Administrative Decisions Tribunal was abolished on 1 January 2014 and its jurisdictions were transferred to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal of New South Wales (NCAT) under the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (Act No.2, 2013). (13)

Endnotes
1. Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act, 1997 (Act No.76, 1997), s.11.
2. Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Annual Report 1998-1999, p.9.
3. Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act, 1997, op cit, s.19.
4. Ibid., s.3.
5. Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Annual Report 1998-1999, p.9.
6. Administrative decisions Tribunal Act, 1997, op cit, s.12.
7. Ibid, s.13.(4)
8. Report of the Attorney General's Department for the year ended 30 June 1999 p. 9, 18-19.
9. Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Annual Report 2000-2001, p.8.
10. Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Annual Report 2002-2003, p.5.
11. Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Annual Report 2008-2009, p.5.
12. Public Sector Employment and Management (Departmental Amalgamations) Order 2009 (2009 No 352) cls. 20; NSW Legislation website, 27 July 2009.
13. Public Sector Employment and Management (Departments) Order 2011 (2011 No 184) cls. 36; NSW Legislation website, 3 April 2011.

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