Common questions - Conciliation

Consumer and Commercial Division

The following are some common questions about the conciliation process used in the Consumer and Commercial Division of NCAT.  This information is provided as a general guide and should not be treated as legal advice or relied upon as such.

Do I have t​o attempt conciliation?

Yes.  Although conciliation is a voluntary process, NCAT is required by law to encourage parties to reach agreement through conciliation before the hearing can take place.

Who is involved in the co​​nciliation?

Generally, only the people involved in the dispute attend the conciliation.  An agent, advocate or interpreter may also be present.  At our larger hearing venues a Conciliator may be available to help with your conciliation discussions.

Can my support ​​person be with me during the conciliation?

Yes.  However, you will need to seek the permission of the other person involved in the dispute for your support person to be with you during the conciliation.  If they do not give their permission, your support person cannot be present during the conciliation session.

Why is the Concilia​​tor not present at all times during the conciliation?

Where a Conciliator is available, their role is to assist a number of conciliating parties at the same time. It is not possible for the Conciliator to spend all their time in one conciliation session.

What if I'm not ha​​ppy with the conciliated agreement?

If you are not happy with the conciliated agreement, you must let the Tribunal Member know before it is made into a binding Tribunal order.  When you return to the hearing room, tell the Tribunal Member that you want to reconsider agreeing to a settlement and that you want the matter to proceed to hearing.

Can a consent o​rder to changed afterwards?

No. Once a conciliated agreement is ratified by a Tribunal Member it becomes a lawfully binding Tribunal order.  Before making the order, the Tribunal Member will ask both parties to confirm that they have freely entered into the agreement and understand the effects of the terms of the agreement.

What if I feel thr​​​eatened by the other person?

If at any time during the conciliation session you feel threatened by the other party, please let the Conciliator, Tribunal Member or security officer know immediately.