07 August 2018

AAT Review

The Commonwealth Attorney-General Christian Porter announced on 27 July that that former High Court Justice David Callinan AC QC will undertake a statutory review of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in accordance with section 4 of the Tribunals Amalgamation Act 2015 (Cth).

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) was amalgamated with the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal on 1 July 2015.

Under s 4, the Attorney-General must cause a review of the operations of the amendments made under the enactment, commencing as soon as practicable three years after the Act's commencement. The Review must also consider any other related matter that the Minister specifies.

The Terms of Reference are
A review is to be commenced, in accordance with section 4 of the Tribunals Amalgamation Act 2015 (TA Act), to consider the operation of the amendments made by the TA Act to the Tribunal. 
The review shall consider:
  • whether the objectives of the TA Act have been achieved; 
  • the extent to which the Tribunal operates as a truly amalgamated body, and whether any existing levels of separation are necessary and appropriate; 
  • whether the Tribunal is meeting the statutory objectives contained in section 2A of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, with particular regard to:
  • the objective to promote public trust and confidence in the decision-making of the Tribunal, including: - the extent to which decisions of the Tribunal meet community expectations; and - the effectiveness of the interaction and application of legislation, Practice directions, Ministerial Directions, guides, guidelines and policies of the Tribunal;
 the degree to which legislation, processes, grounds, scope, and levels of review in, and from, the Tribunal promote timely and final resolution of matters; 
whether the Tribunal’s operations and efficiency can be improved through further legislative amendments or through non-legislative changes; and 
whether the arrangements for funding the operations of the Tribunal are appropriate, including ensuring consistent funding models across divisions.
The written report of the review is to be provided to the Attorney-General by 31 October 2018.