NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

​​​

Definitions

The definitions on this page are for terms commonly used at NCAT and in Tribunal proceedings.   Select a letter from the alphabetical list below to go to the list of words starting with that letter.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

ADR
Alternative Dispute Resolution

Appeals
Applications for the review of an NCAT decision.  May be an internal appeal panel to NCAT or external appeal to a superior court.

Applicant
The person or organisation that brings a matter before NCAT.

Application
A request, complaint, referral or other initiating process lodged with NCAT.

Application form
The NCAT form used to make the application.

ASIC
Australian Securities and Investment Commission.  Visit the ASIC website for more information.

C

Compulsory conference
A conference convened by NCAT which the parties are required to attend to attempt to resolve their matter or narrow the issues in dispute.

Conciliation
A form of alternative dispute resolution. Conciliation is an informal and private meeting between the parties. The aim of conciliation is to reach an agreement and resolve the matter without the need for a hearing.

Conciliator
A Member or Officer of NCAT skilled in alternative dispute resolution. They help parties during conciliation to reach an agreement or to narrow the issues in dispute.

Consent order
A decision made by NCAT to which all parties consent.  This may or may not result from an ADR process.

Corporation fee
The corporation fee applies to all organisations defined as a corporation by section 57A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

D

Daily hearing list
A list of matters due to be dealt with by NCAT on that day.

Decision
An order, direction, decision or determination of NCAT.

Decision on the papers
A decision based on the application, written submissions and supporting documents, made without a face to face hearing.

Decision maker
The person who made the original decision under an enabling Act this is to be reviewed by NCAT.

Deputy President
A person appointed as a full or part time Deputy President of NCAT.  They may also be a Division Head.

Determination
See Decision.

Directions
Instructions or orders given by NCAT concerning the future conduct of a matter.

Disciplinary
Disciplinary proceedings involve the management of allegations or complaints against members of an occupation/profession that is regulated by an enabling law.

Divisional list
A list established under the NCAT Act for the management of a particular class of matters.

E

Enabling Act
An Act that confers jurisdiction on NCAT.  If there is an inconsistency between an enabling Act and the NCAT Act, the enabling Act prevails.

Enabling laws
Statutory instruments (for example Acts and Regulations) that confer jurisdiction on NCAT.

Evidence
Anything that is relied upon to support a party's matter, such as documents, affidavits, photographs, objects and verbal statements.

Ex tempore decision
Members who make a decision in a case immediately or shortly after the hearing are delivering an 'ex-tempore' decision. (From Latin, meaning 'on the spur of the moment, without premeditation')

F

Filing
Posting, hand delivering, electronically lodging or other means of registering a document with NCAT.

Final hearing
A hearing presided over by a member or members where evidence may be presented and witnesses called.  NCAT may make an ex tempore decision or reserve its decision and issue written reasons at a later date.

H

Hearing
An interlocutory or final hearing.

I

Interpreter
A person who is qualified to interpret for a party.

Interlocutory
A hearing that may be conducted before the substantive hearing to determine interlocutory or procedural matters, for example a directions hearing.

J

Judicial members
Any member of NCAT who also holds an appointment as a judicial officer.  This includes the NCAT President.

Jurisdiction
The matters over which NCAT has authority to deal with.

M

Matter
Any application lodged with NCAT.

Mediation
A form of alternative dispute resolution that helps parties identify issues in dispute, develop options, consider alternatives and try to reach an agreement.  A mediator has no advisory or determinative role in relation to the content of the matter but may advise on or guide the mediation process.

Mediator
A Member or Officer of NCAT skilled in alternative dispute resolution who assists the parties to finalise their matter or narrow the issues in dispute through mediation.

Members
A person appointed as a full time or part time member.

N

NCAT Divisions
Administrative and Equal Opportunity
Consumer and Commercial
Guardianship
Occupational

NDIS
National Disability Insurance Scheme . Visit the NDIS website for more information.

Non-judicial member
Members of NCAT who do not hold appointment as a judicial officer.

O

Order
Orders and directions made by NCAT, including the power to impose conditions and make ancillary orders.

Orders
Instructions given by an NCAT Member. Orders may be interlocutory (for example, directions for how the matter will proceed) or final (orders giving effect to a final decision or agreement).

Original application
An application to NCAT as primary decision maker to make a decision for the first time.

Original decision
The making of an order, direction or determination for the first time.

Original jurisdiction
An application whereby a decision or resolution is sought on any matter (other than an internal appeal application) that falls under the NCAT Act.

P

Party
A person or organisation is a 'party' to the proceedings before NCAT if they are:
(a)  the applicant or respondent
(b)  joined to the proceedings
(c)  granted leave to intervene in proceedings
(d)  specified by the Act or the enabling Act to be a party
(e)  an original decision-maker (where the proceeding is in the review jurisdiction).

President
Person appointed as the President of NCAT and who has the status of a Supreme Court Judge.

Presiding member
The sitting member of the Tribunal who solely constituted the Tribunal for dealing with a matter; or is the presiding member of a Tribunal consisting of more than one member dealing with a matter.

Procedural Directions
NCAT may issue documents called Procedural Directions to provide assistance to parties before the Tribunal and their representative concerning practice and procedure in the Tribunal.

Principal Registrar
A person appointed to the position of Principal Registrar under the NCAT Act.  The Principal Registrar assists the President in the management of the Tribunal and is assisted by Divisional Registrars.

R

Registry
Part of the Tribunal that provides administrative and case management support to the dispute resolution and hearing functions.

Regulations
A subordinate law that governs specific operations of NCAT and is authorised under the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013.

Regulatory body
An agency or body that regulates an industry or profession and has the power to licence practitioners, employees or employers.

Representative
A person representing an applicant or respondent at a hearing.

Reserved decision
A decision that is not delivered on the day of the hearing but is held over until a later date.

Respondent
The person or organisation to be affected or potentially bound by an order or decision made in a matter.  In a review application, the respondent is generally the original decision maker.

Review application
Review of an administrative decision made by an original decision maker.

Review jurisdiction
Matters in which NCAT reviews a decision made by an original decision-maker.

Rules
Rules specify usual procedures that must be followed when making applications to NCAT and in proceedings before NCAT. 

S

Service or serving
To give or deliver a copy of documents to another party.

Sitting
Hearing or group hearing conducted by NCAT.

Sitting member
A person who constitutes, or is one of the people constituting, the Tribunal for dealing with a matter or matters.

Special fixture
A hearing that is listed for a specific length of time.  These hearings may run over a few hours or several days.

Stay of proceedings
An order that suspends proceedings until the outcome of an appeal or another action.  A stay may be lifted and the proceedings resume.  A stay may also be used to postpone proceedings indefinitely.

Submissions
A party's argument and evidence presented to the Tribunal either orally or in writing.

Summons
A notice issued by NCAT directing a person or company to produce documents and/or attend and give oral evidence at a hearing.

T

Tribunal
NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

V

Vocational
Related to occupations that are regulated by enabling laws.

W

Withdrawal
An action to cease proceedings before NCAT.  An applicant may seek to withdraw their application at any time before a decision is made.

Witness
A person who gives evidence at a hearing.

Written reasons for decision
A written statement explaining how the Tribunal Member(s) came to their decision.