If you were a party to a proceeding before NTCAT and disagree with its decision, there are several ways in which you may be able to challenge the decision.
The alternatives depend on the type of decision and the basis upon which you wish to challenge it.
There are four main options:
Clerical mistakes and other minor errors
Occasionally a decision or order will include an obvious error, for example a typographical error, a mathematical miscalculation or an incorrect date, name or address. If you think there has been such an error you should promptly advise NTCAT and the other party. It is possible the error will be able to be corrected without the need for an internal review or appeal (see section 79 of the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act).
Reopening a proceeding
In some cases, where a party to an NTCAT proceeding did not participate in a hearing, or consented to an order, that party may apply to have the proceeding re-opened under section 80 of the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act.
NTCAT may reopen a proceeding if it is satisfied that the party had a reasonable excuse for not participating in a hearing, or if their consent to an order was improperly obtained. If a proceeding is reopened, NTCAT will ensure that the issues between the parties are properly considered.
The party seeking to reopen a proceeding will need to file a Form 3 Ordinary Application. There is a time limit of 28 days after the decision to apply to have a proceeding reopened (although it can be extended in some circumstances). No fee applies for this type of application.
Most decisions made by NTCAT in its original jurisdiction are subject to review by another NTCAT tribunal member or tribunal members not involved in hearing the original matter. The front page of the decision will usually indicate whether it is made in NTCAT’s original jurisdiction. This type of review is referred to as an ‘internal review’ and occurs under section 140 of the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act.
The party seeking an internal review will need to complete and file a Form 1 Initiating Application. There is a time limit of 28 days from the date of the decision to apply for an internal review (although it can be extended in some circumstances). An application fee applies.
Appeal to Supreme Court
Under section 141 of the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, certain NTCAT decisions can be appealed to the Supreme Court. The right of appeal to the Supreme Court is confined to NTCAT decisions involving legal errors. In addition, the party seeking to appeal must obtain leave to appeal from the Supreme Court.
More information about Supreme Court process, including forms, time frames and fees for appeals, can be found at www.supremecourt.nt.gov.au or by contacting the Supreme Court Registry.