NTCAT provides a forum for reviewing a wide range of administrative decisions and for resolving certain civil disputes (such as residential tenancy matters and small claims up to an amount of $25,000).
NTCAT also exercises jurisdiction in relation to the regulation of particular professions and the protection of civil rights, for example by appointing guardians for vulnerable adults.
In all its jurisdictions NTCAT aims to achieve outcomes that are prompt, fair and inexpensive.
NTCAT is much less formal than a court and its procedures are less complicated. Lawyers are permitted in most cases but usually are not necessary.
In most matters NTCAT will attempt to assist the parties to reach a negotiated resolution of their dispute (at what is called a compulsory conference). Where parties are unable to reach agreement, the matter will proceed as soon as possible to a hearing.
The law that establishes NTCAT and governs its operations is the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act.
That Act does not confer any jurisdiction on NTCAT. NTCAT can only hear cases when an Act of Parliament gives it this authority.