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Reconsider a decision

Information Sheet GA 15

This information sheet gives you information you need to apply for the Tribunal to reconsider a decision.

This information sheet tells you:


Time limit to apply

There is a 14-day time limit.

This means that you must apply within 14 days of:

  • the Tribunal decision
  • new information that you couldn’t have known about or found earlier

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.

When will the Tribunal reconsider a decision?

The Tribunal can reconsider a decision:

  • to fix a mistake or problem that makes the process unfair
  • to deal with a question the Tribunal should have dealt with but didn’t

The Tribunal cannot reconsider a decision because:

  • a party points out an error in the decision
  • it changed its mind

If you think the outcome was wrong or unreasonable, your option is judicial review.

If you apply, does it extend the time to seek judicial review?

No.

There is a 60-day time limit to seek judicial review from a final decision. The court may extend the time. See section 57 of the Administrative Tribunals Act.

If you ask the Tribunal to reconsider a final decision, it is still a final decision. The 60-day time limit applies.

Does the same member decide whether to reconsider the decision?

Usually, yes. This may depend on workload.

Tribunal members must be fair. They must have an open mind when they decide an application.

If you think the same member should not decide the application, you must show a “reasonable apprehension of bias”. This means you must show:

A reasonable and informed person would think the member would not fairly decide the application.

Legal test to reconsider a decision

Rule 36(1) of the Tribunal’s Rules sets out the legal test to reconsider a decision. It says:

The tribunal may reconsider a decision only if it is satisfied that the interests of fairness and justice require the tribunal to reconsider the decision.

To meet this test, you must show:

  1. A mistake or problem made the process unfair, or
  2. The Tribunal didn’t consider a question it should have considered

Information to include in your application

You must say:

  • What happened to make the process unfair?

    Note: If you made a mistake, explain why it was reasonable.

  • Or what question didn’t the Tribunal answer?

You must deal with the time limit:

  • How and when you realized the problem?

Note: If you realized the problem when you read the decision, you must apply within 14 days of the date of the decision

  • If you file late, why you are filing late

You must say what change you want to the decision.

Do not:

  • Repeat anything you already said unless necessary to the application

Examples of cases where the Tribunal agreed to reconsider

  • A party’s lawyer did not send the 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 good reason for this
  • A party had new evidence that it could not have given earlier
  • A decision said that a party didn’t deal with an issue, but the party did
  • A decision misunderstood what a party said on an important point
  • A decision miscalculated the time for filing the complaint in time

Examples of cases where the Tribunal refused to reconsider

  • A party believes the decision is wrong
  • A party is not satisfied with the outcome
  • A party made a mistake but has no good reason
  • The mistake or new information would not affect the result