Structure, organisations and key people
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. We review decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies and, in limited circumstances, decisions made by state government and non-government bodies. We also review decisions made under Norfolk Island laws.
The AAT does not have a general power to review decisions. We can only review a decision if an Act, regulation or other legislative instrument states that the decision can be reviewed by the AAT.
The AAT can review decisions made under more than 400 Commonwealth Acts and legislative instruments. The most common types of decisions we review relate to:
•Commonwealth workers’ compensation
•family assistance, paid parental leave, social security and student assistance
•migration and refugee visas and visa-related decisions
We also review decisions relating to:
•corporations and financial services regulation
•freedom of information
•the National Disability Insurance Scheme
•security assessments by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
In relation to Norfolk Island, the AAT can review decisions made under 39 Norfolk Island laws, including decisions about customs, planning and social services.
The AAT is not always the first step in having a decision reviewed. In some cases, we cannot review a decision until there has been an internal review of the primary decision or review by a specialist review body like the Veterans’ Review Board.
The AAT can also conduct a second review of certain decisions that have been reviewed in our Social Services & Child Support Division. A second review is conducted in our General Division.
The AAT was established by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and commenced operations on 1 July 1976.
On 1 July 2015 the Migration Review Tribunal, Refugee Review Tribunal and Social Security Appeals Tribunal were merged with the AAT.
The AAT falls within the portfolio of the Attorney-General.
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