A revamped system of federal administrative review


On 7 December 2023, the Australian Government introduced legislation to abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and establish a new review body called the Administrative Review Tribunal (ART).

These bodies represent the federal system for reviewing decisions made under Commonwealth laws in areas including social security payments, migration, taxation and the NDIS.

The reform of this system aims to address concerns raised in a recent Senate committee inquiry, about the need to promote public confidence and trust in the decision-making of the AAT, including by ensuring a commitment to principles of procedural fairness.

These changes are also a response to the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme, and the Nixon Review, which identified gaps in Australia’s visa system.

The Government’s intention is to enhance the ability and independence of the decision-makers working in the federal administrative review system.

This legislation will also re-establish the Administrative Review Council, a body tasked with:

  • monitoring the overall integrity of the Commonwealth administrative review system;
  • inquiring into and reporting on systemic challenges in administrative law; and
  • supporting relevant education and training for Commonwealth officials.

Establishment of the ART (and abolishing the AAT) will depend on the timing of the passage of the new legislation.

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