Supplementary submission to inquiry into Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2023 [Provisions] and related bills

In December 2023, the Australian Government introduced the Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2023 (Cth) to Parliament. If passed, it will abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and establish the new Administrative Review Tribunal in its place.

In February 2024, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs conducted an Inquiry into the Bill. PIAC made a submission to that Inquiry, informed by our work with clients who have applied to the AAT for review of NDIS decisions.

A further Inquiry is now being conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. PIAC has made an additional submission to this Inquiry, reinforcing our previous submission’s recommendations to improve the Bill by:

  • introducing a requirement to consult with users of the new Tribunal when developing practice directions; 
  • clarifying how proceedings will be conducted in the absence of a government decision-maker; 
  • tightening requirements for government agencies to provide reasons for their first-instance decisions;
  • introducing a power to award costs against a decision-maker in some circumstances; and
  • including provisions guaranteeing funding for legal advice and advocacy services such as Legal Aid.

Our further submission clarified these recommendations, and responded to some issues raised by other submitters and the House of Representatives Inquiry report.

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