Legislation

This page provides links to the key Acts and Regulations that govern the operations and procedures of the AAT.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act and Regulations

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 provides for the establishment, structure and management of the AAT. The Act and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulation 2015 set out the core powers and procedures of the AAT for all Divisions other than the Migration & Refugee Division. A consolidated copy of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Regulation 2015 are available at the ComLaw website.

Code of Practice for Notification of Reviewable Decisions and Rights of Review

On 30 November 1994, the Attorney-General issued a Code of Practice for Notification of Reviewable Decisions and Rights of Review pursuant to section 27B of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975. The Code sets out steps that a person making a reviewable decision must have regard to in notifying persons of their review rights. A copy of the Code of Practice is available at the ComLaw website.

Migration Act and Regulations

The jurisdiction, powers and procedures of the AAT’s Migration & Refugee Division are set out in the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994. The Migration Act 1958 also sets out the jurisdiction and aspects of the procedures of the General Division in relation to certain types of decisions. A consolidated copy of the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994 are available at the ComLaw website.

Social Services Legislation

The following Acts set out the jurisdiction and aspects of the powers and procedures of the Social Services & Child Support Division and the General Division in relation to the review of decisions about social security, family assistance, child support, paid parental leave and student assistance:

Consolidated versions of the Acts are available at the ComLaw website.  

Jurisdiction

The AAT does not have a general power to review decisions. We can only review a decision if an Act, regulation or other legislative instrument states that the decision can be reviewed by the AAT.

The AAT can review decisions made under more than 400 Commonwealth Acts and legislative instruments. The most common types of decisions we review relate to:

  • child support
  • Commonwealth workers’ compensation
  • family assistance, paid parental leave, social security and student assistance
  • migration and refugee visas and visa-related decisions
  • taxation
  • veterans' entitlements.

We also review decisions relating to:

  • Australian citizenship
  • bankruptcy
  • civil aviation
  • corporations and financial services regulation
  • customs
  • freedom of information
  • the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • passports and
  • security assessments by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

In relation to Norfolk Island, the AAT can review decisions made under 39 Norfolk Island laws, including decisions about customs, planning and social services.

The AAT is not always the first step in having a decision reviewed. In some cases, we cannot review a decision until there has been an internal review of the primary decision or review by a specialist review body like the Veterans’ Review Board.

The AAT can also conduct a second review of certain decisions that have been reviewed in our Social Services & Child Support Division. A second review is conducted in our General Division.

Find out more about the types of decisions we can review.