WHAT IS VCAT?
VCAT is the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It was formed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 in Victoria. As part of the Victorian Justice system the Tribunal sits ‘below’ the Magistrates Court in the court hierarchy. The Tribunal itself is not a Court as it is a creature of statute and has no inherent jurisdiction or powers.
VCAT is a very busy Tribunal as it resolves about 90,0000 disputes per year. Its orders are enforceable by law once they have been registered with the Magistrates Court. The Tribunal began operating on 1 July 1998, amalgamating 15 smaller boards and tribunals, creating a ‘one-stop-shop’ for handling a broad range of disputes.
Applications, disputes or complaints are heard and determined by Deputy Presidents (appointed full-time), Senior Members and Ordinary Members may also be appointed on a full-time, part-time or on a sessional basis. Members have a broad range of specialist skills and qualifications, enabling VCAT to hear and determine cases of considerable complexity and varying subject matter. Matters may also be settled by VCAT Mediation.
VCAT Lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with VCAT matters, disputes or complaints and offer professional, expert, caring and diligent service to all our clients who have a need to have their cases heard and determined at VCAT or settle them by VCAT Mediation. Parties at VCAT must complete proper VCAT forms, follow Hearing Procedures and appear in person or with an Advocate, Solicitor or Barrister to obtain the best possible result in the matter.
VCAT has a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) that oversees the Administration, Executive and Registry that enable the Divisions to do their work. There are 4 Divisions of VCAT.
1. Administrative Division
This Division deals with professional conduct inquiries and Applications from persons seeking review of decisions made by Government and other Authorities and has three (3) Lists –
• Legal Practice
• Planning and Environment
• Review and Regulation
2. Civil Division
The Civil Division hears and determines a wide range of Civil disputes including –
• Consumer matters
• Domestic Building Works
• Owners Corporation
• Retail Tenancies
• Sale and Ownership of Property
• Use or flow of water between properties
The Civil Division has three (3) Lists –
• Civil Claims
• Building and Property
• Owners Corporation
3. Human Rights Division
The Human Rights Division deals with matters including –
• Guardianship and Administration
• Equal Opportunity
• Racial and Religious Vilification
• Health and Privacy Information
• The Disability Act
• Decisions made by the Mental Health Tribunal The Human Rights Division has two (2) Lists –
◦ Guardianship including Powers of Attorney
◦ Human rights
4. Residential Tenancies Division
• The Residential Tenancies Division deals with matters involving Residential Tenancies and Landlords
• Rooming House Owners and Residents
• The Director of Housing and Public Housing Tenants
• Caravan Park Owners and Residents
• Site Tenants and Site Owners
This Division has one (1) List being the Residential Tenancies List.