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TRIBUNALS. Chapter 6 Adjudication bodies. Reasons for Tribunal. Low cost of proceeding eg filing fee $34.20, parties can also represent themselves Less delay in hearing matters eg Residential tenancies List only wait 3 weeks

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Chapter 6 Adjudication bodies

Reasons for tribunal
Reasons for Tribunal

  • Low cost of proceeding eg filing fee $34.20, parties can also represent themselves

  • Less delay in hearing matters eg Residential tenancies List only wait 3 weeks

  • Informal atmosphere – not bound by rules of evidence and procedure – telephone and video conferences – or internet

  • Parties encouraged to reach agreement themselves

  • Less emphasis on the adversary process

  • The decision of tribunal is binding


  • Too informal – informal atmosphere may feel influenced in accepting the decision

  • Court more suitable if animosity between the parties

  • Lack of confidence – prefer legal representative to present their arguments

  • Escalating costs – matter may need to go to appeal

Vitorian civil and administrative tribunal vcat

  • Commences operation 1 July 1998

  • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic)

  • Address the problem of too many tribunals – by combining them to form VCAT operating under a number of lists

  • There are three divisions:

    Administrative Division

    Civil Division

    Human Rights Division


  • The tribunal was established as an avenue of dispute resolution that is easily accessible to people in the community, using informal processes that are easy to understand.

  • Provides low cost proceedings

  • Timely resolution

  • Experts in fields of law

  • Binding decisions

Dispute resolution

  • Formal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply

  • (can still examine , cross examine and re examine witnesses)

  • Some conferences conducted using telephone video links etc

  • Can also conduct proceedings solely by documents

  • Can be resolved by mediation, compulsory conference or a hearing


  • The preferred form of ADR at VCAT is mediation, although other methods of ADR are used too.

  • Gives parties opportunity to explore the reasons for their dispute

  • 60% to 70% of dispute at VCAT resolved through mediation

  • If settlement reached the mediator notifies VCAT to make necessary orders

Compulsory conference
Compulsory Conference

  • Tribunal or principal registrar may require parties to attend or more pre hearing conferences/ directions hearings

  • Identify and clarify the nature of the issues in dispute

  • Promote a settlement

  • Identify the questions of fact and law to be decided by the tribunal

  • Allow directions to be given concerning the conduct of the proceedings


  • Parties are given the opportunity to present evidence, question witnesses and making submissions

  • Decision legally binding

  • Questions of law referred to Trial division of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal

  • No legal rep – may be used for matter over $10000

  • Claims less that $10000 cost 34.20