Last updated 29 July 2016
Appeals against Commonwealth Government administrative actions or decisions may generally be made to the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) established under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) (AAT Act). Where specified in legislation, an appeal lies to a single body (the AAT) rather than to separate review bodies. The AAT can review decisions made under more than 400 Commonwealth Acts and legislative instruments.
The AAT reviews only specifically designated administrative decisions over which it has been given jurisdiction. This jurisdiction is generally given by the Act under which the decision was made. It is significant that the AAT is specially constituted to ensure that its membership has expertise in the subject matter of the application. Part-time AAT members have professional backgrounds in many areas including aviation, defence, education, engineering, environment, medicine, psychiatry, social work, surgery and valuation.
There are a number of other appeals tribunals with specialised jurisdictions created by Commonwealth laws, including the:
- Veterans’ Review Board, which reviews decisions made by the Repatriation Commission and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission
- Australian Competition Tribunal, which reviews determinations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
These specialist tribunals are each created by specific legislation, and in some specified cases, reviews of the decisions of these tribunals may be made to the AAT.