COAT | Council of Australasian Tribunals
Group Discussion

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 COATplease contact Ms Kathryn McKenzie, COAT Secretariat on 0418 281 116 or by email at info@coat.gov.au

An application form is available for download [ PDF version | Word 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.