Going to the Tribunal
An application to NCAT generally results in a hearing in the Tribunal.
NCAT can also assist with resolving a matter without having a hearing. Other methods that may assist you to resolve your matter include:
- Informal discussion directly with the other party or parties
- Preliminary sessions
Informal discussion directly with the other party or parties
You can talk to the other party yourself or through your lawyer or agent to negotiate an agreement which satisfies everyone. If this happens, you can withdraw your application or give the Tribunal 'consent orders' which record your agreement.
Resolving guardianship matters
Guardianship matters can be resolved successfully outside NCAT's hearing process. Most people with a decision-making disability manage in the community with help from their family, friends and service providers. They do not need a guardian or a financial manager. Before commencing the legal process of making an application, you should consider whether there is an appropriate alternative.
In the Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division, preliminary conferences, planning meetings and case conferences are sessions that you have to take part in before a hearing. These preliminary sessions are called:
- 'preliminary conferences' in state revenue cases
- 'planning meetings' in government information access and privacy cases
- 'case conferences' in discrimination cases.
In the Consumer and Commercial Division there is a conciliation process that is closely linked to the hearing process, rather than as a separate step of dispute resolution.
Conciliation brings people in dispute together to talk about their issues in an informal, private meeting and try to reach an agreement. Conciliation is also used extensively in matters involving multiple applications about the same dispute, for example in residential community and retirement village matters.
NCAT offers mediation for suitable cases in some Divisions. Mediation is a discussion with all the parties facilitated by a mediator. Mediation is a confidential, informal problem-solving process. The mediator manages the process but does not take sides or give an opinion about the case. One possible outcome of mediation is that the parties reach agreement about how the matter can be resolved.