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“CHALLENGES AND CHANGES” The Hon Justice Duncan Kerr Chev LH speech at COAT SA, Adelaide, 26 October 2016
The Council of Australasian Tribunals South Australian Chapter
“CHALLENGES AND CHANGES” Speech, Adelaide, 26 October 2016
The Hon Justice Duncan Kerr Chev LH
A Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and the President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
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COAT NSW Annual Conference 2013 - Access and Capacity

To access papers and presentations from the COAT NSW Annual Conference Access and Capacity held Friday 13 September at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney, please click the links below.

Tribunal Law Update
Sarah-jane Morris

Assessing Risk and Capacity – Advise from the Experts
Dr Matthew Large

Form and Function in Tribunal Design
Julia Haraksin
Glenn Turnbull
Professor David Tait

Intercultural Communication and Tribunal Craft
The Hon Jennifer Boland AM

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and Humans Do
Robyn Bradey



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NCAT President - advertisement

An advertisement for the recruitment of a President of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) appeared in the weekend editions of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian (3-4 August 2013).

Applications can be submitted by following the links on the following website page:

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7th Annual Whitmore Lecture

On the evening of 1 August 2013, the Honourable Wayne Martin QC, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia delivered the 7th annual Whitmore lecture on the topic of Forewarned and Four-armed – Administrative Law Values and the Fourth Arm of Government. A copy of the paper is reproduced under the Publications tab (lectures).

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COAT WA - news coming soon
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Homepage Quote

COAT is the national body through which tribunals can come together to examine and compare ideas, working methods, organisation and management, member trainings and support programs.

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  5. The staff who operate the COAT web site are subject to the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. This Act lays down strict privacy safeguards which Commonwealth Government departments and agencies must observe in handling personal information. More information about the Privacy Act can be obtained from the Privacy Commissioner’s website at:
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Disclaimer Notice

This website is provided as a general information service. COAT accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the material contained on the site. We recommend that you exercise your own skill and care, and seek professional advice if necessary, before relying on any such material.

By accessing this website you assume all risks associated with its use, including, but not limited to, the risk that your computer, software or data might be damaged by a virus transmitted or activated by the site, or by your access to it.

This website contains links to sites maintained by other organisations. COAT does not provide any warranty or take any responsibility for the accuracy, source or any other aspect of those sites.

Copyright Notice

This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 all other rights are reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be emailed to

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Practice Manuals for Tribunals

The Practice Manuals for Tribunals is a resource that has been developed by COAT to assist tribunal members in carrying out their duties. The manuals provide information and practical guidance on a range of practice issues that will be relevant to the diverse group of tribunals that may be members of COAT. The manuals cover areas such as procedural fairness, conducting hearings and making decisions.

The Practice Manual for Tribunals was first published in April 2006. It was produced with the generous assistance of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General. A second edition of the Practice Manual was published in early 2009. The Fourth Edition was published in September 2017.

A hard copy of the Practice Manual for Tribunals is provided to the head of each tribunal that becomes a member of COAT. Please contact our office for additional copies.

Please click here to download a PDF format of the Fourth Edition of the Practice Manual for Tribunals. Please note that you need to download the pdf and save it, then open your Adobe reader program and open the file from there to be able to view and use the index.

Please click here to download a PDF of ‘Tribunal Independence in Appointments – A Best Practice Guide’ August 2016

Any enquiries relating to access to the Practice Manual for Tribunals or Best Practice Guides should be sent to

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Register of Tribunals

This is a register of all tribunals operating in Australia and New Zealand that are known to COAT. If any readers or viewers of this document are aware of other tribunals that are not listed please advise COAT.  If any of the details of any of the tribunals are incorrect please let us know by contacting our Secretariat: Email Click here to access the current Register.

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How can I participate in COAT?

There are a number of opportunities to participate in the COAT for:

  • tribunals;
  • tribunal heads;
  • tribunal members and managers; and
  • other people interested in tribunal administration and justice, including practitioners, academics and students.

To participate in the COAT please contact Ms Kathryn McKenzie, COAT Secretariat on 0418 281 116 or by email at

An application form is available online or for download [ PDF version |].

What Kind of Tribunal Can Be a Member of COAT?

There is no one model of what a tribunal is. Tribunals take many forms, usually depending on the powers they exercise and the types of decisions they make. Some tribunals are court-like in their structure and procedures, others are much more flexible in their physical set up as well as approach.

A tribunal might actually not be called a tribunal at all. Some are called panels or boards for example.

At its heart, a tribunal determines disputes, but is not acting as a court (although some tribunals are part of a court eg. the Administrative Appeals Court of South Australia and the Administrative Appeals Division of the Magistrates’ Court in Tasmania would be eligible tribunals). Because the power to determine matters is a common feature to most tribunals, it is expected that bodies whose primary functions are investigative and grievance handling (such as ombudsmen’s offices) would not find the COAT’s activities relevant.

The Council of Australasian Tribunals is intended to have as broad a coverage as possible. Accordingly, an eligible tribunal is [under clause 3(1) of the COAT Constitution]:

any Commonwealth, State, Territory or New Zealand body whose primary function involves the determination of disputes, including administrative review, party/party disputes and disciplinary applications but which in carrying out this function is not acting as a court.

Example: the Administrative Appeals Court of South Australia and the Administrative Appeals Division of the Magistrates’ Court in Tasmania are eligible.

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COAT was established at a meeting of Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand heads on 6 June 2002. The following are the current appointed officeholders to the COAT Executive:

  • Chair:  Ms Anne Britton, Principal Member, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW)
  • Deputy Chair: Mr David Plunkett, Chair, Weathertight Homes Tribunals (NZ) 
  • Secretary: Ms Kath McEvoy, Associate Professor, Adelaide University (SA)
  • Treasurer: The Hon. Justice David Thomas, President,  Administrative Appeals Tribunal (QLD)
  • Public Officer: Belinda Cassidy, Principal Claims Assessor, Motor Accidents Assessment Service (NSW)

Members of Executive:

Mr Greg Geason 
Chairman, Resource Management & Planning Appeal Tribunal (TAS)

Mr Graeme Neate AM
President, ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACT)

Mr Malcolm Schyvens
Deputy President and Division Head for the Guardianship Division,  NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW)
Ms Genevieve Nihill

Deputy President, VIC Civil and Admiistrative Tribunal (VIC)

Mr Richard Bruxner
President, Northern Territory Civil and Aministrative Tribunal (NT) 
Mr Garry Rutherford
Arbitrator, Workcover WA (WA)
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COAT Constitution and Memorandum of Objects for State, Territory and New Zealand Chapters

COAT is incorporated under the Associations Incorporations Act 2009 (NSW).

Under the COAT Constitution, the COAT will be constituted by the National Council comprising the Executive and member tribunals representatives from State, Territory and New Zealand Chapters of the Council, as noted in Part 2 – 5.

The objects of the COAT are set out in Part 1 – 3. The basis of membership is that, at the national level, tribunals are members. Tribunals are represented by their presiding officers or their delegate.

State, Territory and New Zealand Chapters

In addition to there being the Council, there may also be New Zealand and Australian State or Territory chapters of COAT, headed by a Convenor of each chapter.

Practitioners, academics and other interested persons are also eligible to become members of a chapter.

Please visit the ‘Chapter’ section of our website for further information on COAT State, Territory or New Zealand Chapters or email

Membership Fees

Membership fees are charged to belong to COAT. At the national level, there is a minimum fee of $100 or $50 per full time member or equivalent of part time members, which ever is the greater. Provision exists for the Executive to reduce or waive entirely membership fees on a case by case basis.

To view the COAT Constitution please click here

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Purpose and Objects of the Council of Australasian Tribunals


The Council of Australasian Tribunals is an Australasian body that:

  1. supports the work of administrative and civil tribunals and promotes excellence in administrative justice;
  2. provides a forum and acts as a catalyst for discussion, education, research, policy development and law reform in the field of administrative justice;
  3. promotes and encourages tribunals to develop best practice models and standards of behaviour and conduct;
  4. develops and provides training material to support tribunal members.


The objects of the Council are to:

  1. Enhance and expand contact among members of the administrative justice community by:
    1. improving communications and regional contacts among tribunals and members;
    2. acting as a national forum through conferences and its website.
  2. Promote awareness of the role and importance of administrative justice by:
    1. working with tribunals, organisations and governments to develop and promote administrative justice;
    2. working with regional bodies and chapters to raise awareness about the work of tribunals;
    3. proposing initiatives and making representations on matters having an impact on administrative justice, tribunals and tribunal members.
  3. Provide support and services of value to its membership by:
    1. promoting, encouraging and working in partnership with tribunals and chapters to ensure that adequate educational opportunities exist for tribunal members:
    2. developing training resources for Tribunal members.
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Contacting the Council of Australasian Tribunals (3)

If you would like more information about the COAT, please contact mayda Flanagan, Executive Assistant to the Hon. Justice Duncan Kerr, President, Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Mayda Flanagan can be contacted on telephone (03) 6232 1684, or by email at


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Contacting the Council of Australasian Tribunals (2)

If you would like more information about the COAT, please contact Kathryn McKenzie, COAT Secretatiat

Kathryn McKenzie can be contacted on telephone 0418 281 116, or by email at

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Contacting the Council of Australasian Tribunals

If you would like more information about COAT, please contact Ms Kathryn McKenzie, COAT Secretariat

Ms Mc Kenzie can be contacted on telephone 0418 281 116 or by email at


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