Appealing a QCAT Decision

Are you appealing a QCAT decision?

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) makes decisions about administrative law of various Queensland Government departments and agencies. As well as being responsible for adjudicating some civil law disputes.

Here is what you need to know about appealing a decision made by QCAT.

When can’t you appeal a QCAT decision?

A QCAT appeal is not a second chance for a different outcome in your favour. You are not allowed to appeal a decision simply because:

  • you disagree with the outcome;
  • you believe that a different person hearing the case may have resulted in a different outcome;
  • you did not provide all necessary evidence;
  • the evidence of another person was preferred to your evidence; or
  • you do not agree with the evidence used to make the decision.

When appealing, you must first provide reasons based upon the evidence or reasons for decision as to why there has been an error or substantial injustice caused by the QCAT decision. Without sufficient evidence or reason, permission to appeal will not be granted. 

What are the reasons and process for appealing a QCAT decision?

First, you should take the time to understand how the original decision by QCAT was made. To do this, you should submit a request reasons form which is available from the QCAT website within 14 days after the decision takes effect. This information will help you to understand whether or not it is suitable for you to appeal the decision.

If you believe there was an error or significant injustice was made in a QCAT decision, you can make a request to appeal the decision. To do this, you can complete an application for leave to appeal and/or appeal must be made using a QCAT Form 39, Application for leave to appeal or appeal.

The process of appeal will depend upon the type of decision that was made, the categories of decisions are:

  • minor civil dispute;
  • the amount of costs awarded (cost amount);
  • whether to award costs or not rather than the amount of costs awarded;
  • interim decision;
  • decision made by a judicial member; and
  • decision made by a non-judicial member.

The Tribunal reviewing the decision will reconsider all of the original information and evidence (though it is very rare the Tribunal will consider any new evidence provided), and the outcome of this may be to:

  • Confirm or amend the decision;
  • Substitute its own decision;
  • Set aside the decision and return the proceeding to QCAT or the other entity who made the decision for reconsideration; or
  • Make any other order the Tribunal considers appropriate.

How long do you have to appeal a QCAT decision?

An appeal, or an application for leave to appeal, must be made within 28 days after receiving written reasons for the decision. In very few, exceptional circumstances will an extension of time be granted. However, despite this, the original QCAT decision will continue to take effect regardless of an intention to appeal, so it is important you act fast and take this into consideration.

How much does it cost to appeal a QCAT decision?

The cost of appealing a QCAT decision varies. The QCAT fees are between $345.80 and $2746.00, depending on the type and complexity of the matter. 

Applying for a QCAT appeal is quite complicated, which is why it is recommended that you seek the right legal advice from qualified lawyers.

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