Application to Reconsider a Decision

Information Sheet GA 15

The Tribunal will only reconsider a decision in very limited circumstances, to fix unfairness in the process of making the decision, rather than in the result. If you believe a decision is wrong, your option is judicial review. The Tribunal cannot review or hear appeals of its own decisions. See information on How Do I Ask the Court to Review the Tribunal Decision?

If you apply to reconsider a decision, this does not affect the time limit to file a judicial review application in respect of a final decision.

Time limit for reconsideration application

There is a 14 day time limit for applying to reconsider a decision. This means that you must apply within 14 days of when you discovered the information that you are relying on, or when you could have discovered it.

For example, a Tribunal decision says that you did not make a submission, but you did make a submission. You must apply within 14 days of the decision.

Conditions for reconsidering a decision

To persuade the Tribunal to reconsider a decision, you must use a General Application. Your application must show:

(1) the information or circumstances that you rely on to ask for reconsideration

(2) when this came to your attention

(3) if you are filing past the 14 day time limit, why you did not file on time

(3) why the interests of fairness and justice require reconsideration, and

(4) the change you want to the decision

Information the Tribunal will consider

  • If you or your lawyer made a mistake, how did it happen and why is it a reasonable mistake to have made?
  • If you say the Tribunal made a mistake in its process, what is the mistake and how did it result in unfairness?
  • How soon after learning of the mistake are you asking for reconsideration?
  • Has the other party suffered any unfairness because of the mistake?
  • Are there any other reasons why the Tribunal should reconsider the decision?
  • If the Tribunal reconsiders the decision, what do you want the Tribunal to do and why?

Examples of cases where the Tribunal agreed to reconsider

  • A party’s lawyer did not send the party’s submissions to the Tribunal
  • A party made an error in a submission that affected the decision
  • A party lost touch with the Tribunal for a time, but had a reasonable explanation
  • A party had new evidence it could not have provided when it made its submission
  • A decision stated that a party did not make submissions on an issue, when the party’s submission dealt with the issue
  • A decision contained a clear misunderstanding of a party’s submission
  • A decision contained a calculation error about whether a complaint was filed in time

Examples of cases where the Tribunal refused to reconsider

  • A party feels the decision is wrong or is dissatisfied with the outcome
  • A party does not have a reasonable explanation for the mistake or for the delay in asking for reconsideration
  • The mistake or new information would not have affected the result of the decision

Tribunal process for deciding a reconsideration application

Usually, the same member who made the original decision will decide an application to reconsider the decision. If you believe that the same member should not decide the application, you must give your reasons in your application.

Tribunal members have a duty to be fair. This includes having an open mind when deciding an application. Therefore, it is not enough to say you are concerned that the first decision was not in your favour. You must explain what would lead a reasonable, informed person to think the member would not fairly decide the reconsideration application.