State Tribunals, Commissions and Boards
The State court system has a number of important specialist courts called ‘tribunals’ or ‘commissions’. The three most important are the Workers Compensation Tribunal, the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal and the Industrial Commission.
Matters that would otherwise be heard by an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in other states, are heard in Tasmania in the Magistrates Court. Under the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeals Division) Act 2001 (Tas), the court hears appeals against administrative decision. For example, the Magistrates Court will hear appeals from people who were refused a gun license or a driving license on their initial application. If a person is refused a license by an administrator, the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeal Division) Act provides for appeal through a magistrate. The same applies with tax assessment, closure of public roads, declaration of dangerous dogs – numerous Acts containing powers for administrative decisions will include a right of appeal to a magistrate. Gun licenses, motor vehicle licenses, security licenses, state taxation matters – these are a few examples. If the Act in which the administrative powers are contained do not include an avenue of appeal, the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeal Division) Act allows for this review.
Administrative appeals are held de novo. This means that the appeal is heard ‘as of new’ – that means that the appeal is a fresh attempt to be granted an administrative right. The magistrate will consider the matter anew, as if standing in the shoes of the original decision maker.
Page last updated 25/07/2019