Step by step guide to attending an anti-discrimination leave hearing at NCAT.
Step 1: Receive a letter from NCATStep 2:
Prepare your arguments about why the complaint should go aheadStep 3: Attend the leave hearingStep 4: Receive NCAT's decisionStep 5: Consider whether to appeal
You, and the other parties, will receive a letter from NCAT to advise that the case has been listed for a leave hearing in four to six weeks' time. At this hearing, the Tribunal will decide whether to give you permission to go ahead with your complaint. The respondent will be asked to come to the leave hearing as well. A judicial member of the Tribunal will hear the application.
The Tribunal member will generally base their decision on the documents in the ‘President's Report’ (the report the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board sent to the Tribunal) and on what you and the other party say at the leave hearing.
The test the Tribunal will apply is whether it is fair and just for the complaint to go ahead. One relevant factor is how likely it is that the complaint will succeed if it goes to a full hearing.
Leave hearings are scheduled for one hour. You will be given an opportunity to say why your complaint should go ahead. the Tribunal member will then hear from the other party. You will then have an opportunity to respond.
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.
The Tribunal member will either give permission for the complaint to go ahead or refuse permission. If the Judicial member refuses permission the complaint will be dismissed.
If the Tribunal member gives permission for the complaint to go ahead, you will be given a date for a first case conference. The steps that you need to follow after that are the same as those for the steps in a discrimination matter.
The decision to grant or refuse leave cannot be appealed to NCAT's Appeal Panel. You may be able to commence an action in the Supreme Court. You should obtain legal advice if you are considering this. If you are unsuccessful you will probably have to pay the costs of the other party.