|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
Prior to the establishment of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 1984 appeals against decisions and reviews of decisions, made by a number of bodies under various Acts could be heard by the County Court and specific tribunals. The history of each type of appeal has not been researched, however, it is known that the County Court could hear appeals against decisions of the Estate Agents Board and the Crimes Compensation Tribunal while applications for review of decisions of the Motor Accidents Board were heard to 1985 by the Motor Accidents Tribunal (VA 1069).
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1984 (No.10155) established the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The relevant sections of the Act came into operation on 5 December 1984. Section 19 of Act 10155 provided that the Tribunal would operate under two divisions, the General Division and the Taxation Division, as well as "such other divisions as are prescribed". (See Appeals, Taxation for information about the function of the Taxation Division).
The General Division had jurisdiction to hear appeals against decisions and review decisions made under certain sections of the following acts:
Criminal Injuries Compensation;
Freedom of Information;
State Employees Retirement Benefits Fund;
Infertility (Medical Procedures);
The primary object of the Tribunal was to review administrative decisions in an informal and expeditious manner and to permit a broad range of persons whose interests were affected by a decision to participate in a proceeding. Preliminary conferences were frequently employed by the Tribunal to identify points of law and to seek to reach agreement between parties to an appeal without the need to proceed to a full hearing.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
The process of reforming the tribunal systems began in 1995 with a paper entitled Tribunals in the Department of Justice: A principled approach. The research report advocated the establishment of a new system that would bring greater consistency in the way tribunals approached matters.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal was established under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 as part of a package of reforms to improve the operation of the justice system. A number of tribunals were amalgamated and procedures were standardised. These changes diminished the significant overlap of responsibilities that had existed.
VCAT was created to offer a one-stop shop dealing with a range of disputes in its two divisions Civil and Administrative.
The Administrative division deals with disputes between people and the government in relation to land valuation, licenses to carry on business, planning, state taxation and other government decisions such as freedom of information requests and Transport Accident Commission decisions. It consists of the following lists:
Land Valuation List
Occupational and Business Regulation List
Before VCAT was established these matters were dealt with by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and other tribunals.