An individual legal practitioner can apply to NCAT to review a determination of unsatisfactory professional conduct made by the Bar Council or the Council of the Law Society of NSW.
Step by step guide about NCAT's review of a disciplinary decision about a legal practitioner.
Download and complete an Administrative review application form and lodge your application at any NCAT Registry Office.
You will need to apply to NCAT within 28 days from the date you were notified of the disciplinary determination.
If you apply outside of the time limit, you can request a time extension as part of your application. NCAT will not always agree to a request for a time extension.
The parties will receive a letter from NCAT advising of a date for a directions hearing. At the directions hearing a Tribunal Member will set out the steps to be taken by the parties to prepare for a hearing.
The facts of the case are decided on the evidence given at the hearing. The Tribunal Member will set a timetable for you to provide your evidence in writing to NCAT and the other parties before the hearing. These are called directions.
You will generally not be able to introduce new evidence at the hearing because the other party will not have had a chance to see that evidence and respond to it.
When NCAT is reviewing a decision, the respondent (the body who made the decision) will usually present its evidence first. After the decision maker has given its evidence, the applicant will present his or her case.
NCAT's role is to decide whether the body has made the correct and preferable decision.
NCAT can make a number of orders. Refer to the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) for the outcomes possible in a disciplinary case against a lawyer.
NCAT's decision will be published on the NSW Caselaw website.
The general rule for review decisions is that each party pays the costs of their lawyer. NCAT will only award costs to one party if the circumstances come within section 60 of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013.
You cannot appeal a decision made by NCAT's Occupational Division relating to legal practitioners to the NCAT Appeal Panel.
If you are dissatisfied with NCAT's decision, you may have a right of appeal to the NSW Supreme Court. If you are not sure of your appeal rights you should seek legal advice.
08 Sep 2022
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