Glossary

A | B | C | D | E-G | H | I | J-L | M | N | O | P-Q | R | S | T-U | V | W-Z

A

AAT
Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Adjournment
This is the postponing or suspension of a hearing.
ADR
Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Affidavit
Written statement on oath used as evidence in a hearing.
Affirm
The Tribunal may affirm a decision under review. This means that the original decision still stands.
Affirmation
A declaration made instead of an oath.
Applicant
This is the person who has lodged an application with the Tribunal.
Application for extension of time
An application for review of a decision must be made to the Tribunal within a certain time limit. However, an application may be made to the Tribunal to ask for an extension of time in which to lodge an application.
Application for Review (Application, Form 1)
The letter or form used to ask the Tribunal to review a decision of a government department or agency.

B

Bill of Costs
An itemised list of expenses incurred by an applicant or an applicant's solicitor in presenting their case mainly in the compensation jurisdiction.

C

Case Appraisal
Case appraisal is an ADR process conducted by a Tribunal member or other person, chosen on the basis of their expert knowledge of the subject matter, who investigates and provides a non-binding opinion on the facts in dispute and likely outcomes.
Conciliation
Conciliation is an ADR process in which a Tribunal member or Conference Registrar assists the parties to identify the issues in dispute and endeavour to reach an agreement. The conciliator has no determinative role but may advise on or determine the conciliation process, make suggestions on terms of settlement and actively encourage the parties to reach an agreement.
Conference
A conference is a meeting conducted by a Tribunal member or Conference Registrar with the parties and/or their representatives. Conferences provide an opportunity to discuss and define the issues in dispute, identify further evidence that needs to be gathered, explore whether the matter can be settled and discuss the future conduct of the matter.
Conference Convenor
This is the person who conducts conferences and can be a Conference Registrar or a Member.
Conference Registrar
This is an Officer of the Tribunal who conducts conferences.
Confidentiality order
The Tribunal may make an order directing that a hearing or part of a hearing be held in private. The Tribunal may also give directions prohibiting or restricting the publication of the names of a party or witnesses, evidence given before the Tribunal or matters contained in documents lodged with the Tribunal.
Consent agreement
Agreement between all parties as to the outcome of the application for review without having a hearing.
Consent dismissal
A written agreement between all the parties that the Tribunal may dismiss the application without having a hearing or, if the Tribunal has commenced the hearing, without completing it.

D

Daily Listings
List of times and locations of matters being heard by Registry.
Decision
Determination by the Tribunal on an application.
Deputy President
Members may be appointed to the Tribunal as Deputy Presidents. Such members generally preside over the hearing of the more complex matters coming before the Tribunal.
Deputy Registrar
An officer of the Tribunal appointed by the Registrar with certain powers and functions under the AAT Act, including the power to issue summonses and to conduct conferences.
Directions
Directions are instructions by the Tribunal as to the procedures to be followed by the parties in preparing or presenting their cases. Directions relate to matters such as the exchange of evidence before a hearing.
Directions hearings
Directions hearings are conducted by Tribunal members and may be held to deal with procedural matters such as the exchange of statements or documents or to clarify issues relating to the conduct of a hearing. They may also be held to progress in a matter in which there has been delay by a party.
Dismissal of application
In certain circumstances, an application may be dismissed by the Tribunal without proceeding to review the decision. An application may be dismissed, for example, at the request of the parties, if the applicant fails to appear at a case event or if the Tribunal is satisfied that the application is frivolous or vexatious.
District Registry
A registry which handles the processing of applications and the day to day administration of the Tribunal.
District Registrar
An officer of the Tribunal in charge of a District Registry. All District Registrars are also Deputy Registrars.

E-G

Exhibits
Any object or document presented at a hearing to illustrate or support verbal evidence.

H

Hearing
A hearing is conducted by one, two or three members at the Tribunal's premises or occasionally by telephone. It is the opportunity for the parties to present to the Tribunal evidence and submissions in relation to the decision under review. Parties may call witnesses to give evidence.
Hearing certificate
A written statement from the parties that they are ready to proceed to a hearing. The statement includes the names of witnesses, how long the evidence will take to present and the availability of representatives.
Hearing on the papers
Where the parties agree, a hearing may be conducted on the papers in the absence of the parties. The Tribunal makes its decision on the written evidence presented to it.

I

Interlocutory application
This is any application made by a party that relates to an application for review of a decision. It may be an application for an extension of time to lodge an application, an application to stay the operation of the decision under review or an application for a confidentiality order.

J-L

Jurisdictions
Those decisions which may be reviewed by the Tribunal. The Tribunal can only review those decisions of Australian Government Ministers, departments and agencies which it is specifically given jurisdiction to review. Jurisdiction is given to the Tribunal by the legislation under which the primary decision is made. The AAT also reviews certain decisions of the Norfolk Island Government.

M

Mediation
Mediation is an ADR process in which a Tribunal member or Conference Registrar assists the parties to identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The mediator has no advisory or determinative role in relation to the content of the dispute but may advise on or determine the mediation process.
Member
The word "member" is used in two distinct senses. In the first sense, it is used to describe a person who has been appointed as a member of the Tribunal under the AAT Act, whether as a presidential member, a senior member or otherwise. In the second sense, it is used to describe members of the Tribunal who are not presidential members or senior members of the Tribunal.

N

Neutral Evaluation
Neutral evaluation is an ADR process in which a Tribunal member or other person, chosen on the basis of their expert knowledge of the subject matter, investigates the facts and law at issue in the dispute and provides a non-binding opinion on the likely outcomes.

O

Oath
A solemn promise made by a witness to tell the truth. The oath is made to God, or other revered being in which the person believes.
Order
Written directions of the Tribunal on a matter incidental to the application for review.
Outreach
This is a Tribunal program that provides self-represented parties with information about Tribunal practices and procedures and other assistance in relation to the review process.

P-Q

Party
Parties are the participants in the proceedings before the Tribunal. Parties include the person who makes the application to the Tribunal, the decision-maker, any third party and any other person joined to the proceedings.
Party joined
Where an application has been made by a person to the Tribunal for a review of a decision, any other person whose interests are affected by the decision may apply, in writing, to the Tribunal to be made a party to the proceeding, and the Tribunal may, in its discretion, by order, make that person a party to the proceeding. This person is a party joined.
Practice Direction
The Tribunal has issued a number of documents called Practice Directions which set out the requirements the Tribunal places on parties. These documents are directed at solicitors, not people who represent themselves.
Practice guidance notes
A guidance note given by the President of the Tribunal. It is intended to provide assistance to parties before the Tribunal and their representatives as to practice and procedure in the Tribunal.
Pre-hearing Co-ordinator
Member appointed by the President with responsibility for ensuring appropriate pre-hearing case management practices in each registry.
President
The head of the Tribunal. The President must be a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and is a member of the Tribunal. The President is responsible for managing the administrative affairs of the Tribunal.
Presidential members
Judges and Deputy Presidents of the Tribunal are presidential members under the AAT Act.

R

Registrar
An office holder under the AAT Act who heads the Tribunal's administrative structure and assists the President in the running of the Tribunal.
Registry
A part of the Tribunal having administrative functions.
Remit
The Tribunal may set aside a decision and send it back (remit) to the original decision maker to be reconsidered in accordance with any directions or recommendations of the Tribunal.
Respondent
This is the party who responds to or answers an application. This is usually the department, agency or person that made the original decision. Where the department, agency or person that made the original person lodges the application, the individual may be the respondent.
Reviewable decision
The Tribunal is not a tribunal of general jurisdiction. It can only review those decisions of Australian Government (and in limited circumstances, State) Ministers and officials, departments and agencies and other Tribunals which it is specifically given jurisdiction to review. The AAT also reviews decisions of the Norfolk Island Government. Decisions which may be reviewed by the Tribunal are generally known as 'reviewable decisions'.

S

Section 29 Notice
This is a notice from the Tribunal to the department, agency or person that made the decision under review advising that an application has been received.
Section 37 Documents
These are the statement and documents that a decision-maker must prepare and provide to the Tribunal and the other party under section 37 of AAT Act: known generally as the 'T documents'. They include the reasons for the decision under review and all other relevant documents.
Senior Member
Members of the Tribunal can be appointed Senior Members.
Service of documents
To formally deliver documents to another party. The AAT Act outlines the way in which documents are to be delivered. Compliance with these procedures means that the person receiving the documents is subject to the legal effect of the documents.
Set aside
The Tribunal may set aside a decision under review. This means that the Tribunal disagrees with the original decision and makes a new decision in the applicant's favour.
Statement of Facts and Contentions
Written statement by the parties setting out the facts of the case and their arguments in support of the case.
Statement of Issues
Written statement setting out the issues to be determined.
Stay order
This is an order where the Tribunal stops the reviewable decision from taking effect or being implemented in some way until the Tribunal determines or otherwise resolves the matter.
Submissions
A party's arguments presented to the Tribunal, in written or oral form.
Summons
This is a notice issued by the Tribunal calling a person to appear before it or to produce documents to it.

T-U

T-documents
See 'Section 37 documents'.
Time standards
Measures, stated in terms of days, weeks or months, for the conclusion of critical steps in the processing of an application from lodgment to finalisation.
Tribunal
Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

V

Vary
The Tribunal may vary a decision under review. This means that the Tribunal changes or alters the original decision.

W-Z

Witness statement
A written statement made by a person who will be called to give evidence at a hearing. The statement sets out a summary of the person's evidence.