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Proceedings in State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)

Our Dispute Resolution team have experience in dealing with a wide variety of SAT Proceedings. At HHG Legal Group, we are conscious that legal costs are a concern for clients, however, it is often necessary and sometimes just comforting having someone in your corner helping you through the process. 

Whilst the staff at the SAT are helpful, they are not able to give legal advice, and we often find that just an initial consultation with one of our experience team members can help a client understand the process better and know what they need to do next. We often assist clients by just providing guidance through the process however, depending on the dispute, a client may require formal representation in their matter due to the in-depth or specialised nature of the issues to be determined. 

What is State Administrative Tribunal and what issues does the Tribunal deal with?

The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) is like a Court, where issues are brought by way of an application for a Member, who is the person determining the issue, to make a decision on an issue. 

Hearings conducted in the SAT are less formal than a Court, however people appearing in SAT proceeding should remember that is is still a hearing and must treat the Member, all tribunal staff and anyone else attending the hearing respectfully. Everyone at the SAT is there to make the process run smoothly and each person has a particular role or duty. 

Matters at the SAT are generally heard by a single SAT member. In some situations, a matter is heard by multiple members. Members of the SAT include people wit legal training as well ass experts in different but relevant fields.

Additional, the President of the SAT is a Supreme Court judge, and the Deputy Presidents are District Court judges.

Types of Proceeding dealt with in the State Administrative Tribunal

The SAT has a wide jurisdiction when we consider the number of matters that is can determine, including matters relating to:

  1. Building disputes;
  2. Guardianship and Administration of individuals;
  3. Mental Health Appeals;
  4. Planning and Development;
  5. Retirement Villages;
  6. Strata Titles;
  7. Vocational Regulation.

Section 9 of the State Administrative Tribunal Act 2004 describes the main objective of the SAT in dealing with matters within its jurisdiction are:

  1. to achieve the resolution of questions, complaints or disputes, and make or review decisions, fairly and according to the substantial merits of the case; and
  2. to act as speedily and with as little formality and technicality as is practicable, and minimise the costs to parties; and
  3. to make appropriate use of the knowledge and experience of Tribunal members. 

No costs jurisdiction 

In the SAT, parties will often appear without any legal representation and so no legal costs are usually ordered. There are however some limited circumstance where costs may be ordered by the SAT.

What happens at a hearing in the State Administrative Tribunal?

Hearing are where the Member either:

  1. manages the matter by assisting the parties to set out the next steps to be taking by everyone, this is referred to as a directions hearing; or
  2. a final hearing is conducted where the parties can give evidence and the Manger makes a decision on the issues before the Tribunal.

During the course of a matter, the SAT may order the parities to attend a mediation or a compulsory conference. A mediation is an opportunity for all parties to sit down confidentially and have a discussion on how the matter could be resolved, whereas a compulsory conference generally involves a SAT member taking a more active tole in assisting the parties to reach a resolution.

Parties to proceedings will generally be given an opportunity to submit documents and/or evidence before the matter is listed for a final hearing. At the hearing, the SAT may ask each party to make their submissions, which is to set out the main points of their case. The SAT may ask further questions of any person  attending the hearing in order to clarify issues, if necessary.

Depending on the type of issues before the SAT, the SAT may make directions for experts to give evidence on the issues as well, particularly when the SAT is dealing with construction matters or guardianship and administration matters. Experts used can be Quantity Surveyors, Engineers, Doctors, or the Public Advocate investigator who could be assigned to a case in a Guardianship matter. This is not an exhaustive list of experts but can give you an idea of who may be involved.

What is an order of the State Administrative Tribunal? 

At a directions hearing the SAT may make orders to help the parties know what the nest steps are; these are known as programming orders. These orders give parties deadlines by which to submit documents or evidence to the SAT, which will then be used at the final hearing of the matter.

If you are looking for examples of the types of order made by the SAT, you can find a set of the Standard Order made at Directions Hearing, Mediations and Compulsory Conference on the SAT Website. 

Available on the SAT website are also a number of Info Sheets and Practice Notes which can guide parties through the various processes. 

Different matters determined by the State administrative Tribunal

Many different matters can be dealt with by the SAT. The following are some examples of matters in which lawyers at HHG Legal Group regularly assist clients.

The SAT has a wide jurisdiction when we consider the number of matters that it can determine, including matters relating to:

How can HHG help?

If you are thinking about commencing a matter in the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) or are already involved in proceedings, please feel free to give us a call to arrange an initial consultation with one of our team members. Each team member practices in their own areas and when we receive your inquiry, an appointment will be arranged where you will be matched with a lawyer who has the requisite experience for your particular matter.

Our experiences team of lawyers are located in Perth, Joondalup, Mandurah, Bunbury and Albany so we are always close by. Contact our team today to discuss your situation.

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

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