Steps in applying for review of an exemption decision

Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division

Step 1: Check that you are eligible to apply

Step 2: Apply to NCAT to have the decision reviewed

Step 3: Lodge the application form by the deadline and pay the fee

Step 4: (optional) Apply for the original decision to be suspended until NCAT makes its dec​ision

Step 5: Receive a letter from NCAT

Step 6: Take part in the directions hearing

Step 7: Tribunal and give (serve) them on the representative from the Anti-Discrimination Board

Step 8: Take part in the hearing

Step 9: Receive NCAT’s decision

Step 10: If you are not satisfied with NCAT's decision, consider whether you have grounds for appeal

Step 1 Check that you are eligible to apply

To apply to NCAT for review of an exemption decision, you must be either be the person who applied for the exemption or a person who is directly affected by the exemption decision. You can apply to NCAT for a review of:

  • a decision to refuse to grant or renew an exemption
  • a decision to grant an exemption
  • a decision to vary or revoke an exemption. 

Step 2 Apply to NCAT to have the decision reviewed

To apply to NCAT, you need to fill out an application for review form. You will need to include the following information on your application form:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • a copy of the decision you wish to have reviewed.

There is no need to apply to the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board for an internal review of the decision.

Step 3 Lodge the application form by the deadline and pay the fee

You need to lodge your application to NCAT within 28 days from when you are notified of the ADB's decision. You need to post or bring the application form to NCAT registry. You cannot lodge it online or fax it.

If you want to lodge an application but the deadline has passed, you have to ask for an extension. You will need to give a good reason for not lodging the application within the time allowed. It will be up to NCAT to decide whether or not to accept a late application.

A fee applies for most applications to NCAT. Check the Fees page to see which fee applies to you, and how to pay the fee.

Step 4 (optional) Apply for the original decision to be suspended until NCAT makes its decision

While you wait for NCAT to review the original decision, the decision still applies and can be implemented.

You can ask for the decision to be suspended while you are waiting for a review by NCAT. This is called a 'stay'. You can fill out an application form for a stay of the reviewable decision. You can post or bring your application to NCAT registry. You cannot fax the application or lodge it via the internet.

You need to explain your reasons for asking for the decision to be suspended. NCAT will decide whether to grant a suspension after also considering the views of the parties concerned.

Step 5 Receive a letter from NCAT        

You will receive a letter from NCAT informing you that your application has been received. You will also be given a date to attend a 'directions hearing' at NCAT. 

The President of the Anti-Discrimination Board will be asked to give you and NCAT a statement outlining the reasons for their decision, if he has not already done so. The President is also obliged to give you and the Tribunal copies of all relevant documents. These are sometimes called s58 documents.

Step 6 Take part in the directions hearing

During the directions hearing, a member of NCAT will talk to you and a person representing the President of the ADB about the options for resolving your case.

If the matter is to be resolved at a hearing, the member will direct that you and the representative of the President of the ADB to comply with a timetable for filing and serving relevant documents and submissions.

Step 7 Lodge copies of evidence and submissions with the Tribunal and give (serve) them on the representative from the Anti-Discrimination Board

You and the representative for the Anti-Discrimination Board should give each other (serve) any documents or other forms of evidence that you intend to use during the hearing. You should follow the timetable agreed to at the directions hearing.

The documents you need to exchange include statements or affidavits, legal submissions, references to legal authorities, cases and legislation. Read more about preparing evidence for hearing.

Step 8 Take part in the hearing

NCAT’s hearings are less formal than court hearings. Generally, the member will introduce themselves and ask you and the representative for the Anti-Discrimination Board to give a short summary of your cases.

Usually the Anti-Discrimination Board will present its evidence first and then it will be your turn to present your evidence. After the evidence has been presented you will both be given an opportunity to make verbal submissions about the findings of fact that the Tribunal should make and the law that should be applied. Read more about what happens during a hearing.

Step 9 Receive NCAT’s decision

The decision will posted to the parties and will appear on the Caselaw website.

In some cases, NCAT member will be able to give you their decision at the end of the hearing. However, in most cases the member will need time to consider the case and will give their decision at a later date. You will usually receive the decision in less than three months. Complex matters may take longer.  

NCAT can make various decisions including:

  • affirming the decision of the Anti-Discrimination Board (stating that the original decision is correct)
  • reversing the decision completely or in part
    substituting a new decision for the original decision
  • ordering the Anti-Discrimination Board to reconsider the decision

Step 10 If you are not satisfied with NCAT's decision, consider whether you have grounds for appeal​​

You may have the right of appeal to the Appeal Panel of NCAT, if you can establish that the Tribunal went wrong either in the procedure it followed, or the way it applied the law to the facts of your case. Learn more about making an appeal​.      

In some instances there is also a right of appeal to the NSW Supreme Court. If you are not sure of your appeal rights you should seek legal advice​.