List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that, as a matter of urgency, the Commonwealth Government re-fund the Administrative Review Council and allow it to fulfil its statutory duties in accordance with Part V of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the Attorney-General develop and legislate a process for the appointment of members to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that:
incorporates clear selection criteria;
advertises the selection criteria broadly;
establishes and supports an independent panel to properly consider each applicant's suitability for the role and their qualifications, and recommend appointments against the selection criteria;
limits the discretionary powers of the Attorney-General to make appointments not in accordance with the recommendations of the independent panel;
imposes a uniform approach to the duration of appointments; and
promotes transparency and makes public the outcome of each application and selection round.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that the Attorney-General disassemble the current Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and re-establish a new, federal administrative review system, by no later than 1 July 2023. The structure of the new tribunal system should re-align the merits review process with the AAT's legislated objectives of being accessible, proportionate, fair, economic, informal and quick, while promoting public trust and confidence in the decision-making of the review body.
In restructuring and reforming the merits review system, consideration should be given to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, and the Divisional structure, membership, case management practices, practice directions, President's directions, guides and guidelines of the AAT as currently constituted. Appointments to the system should be made in line with Recommendation 2 of this report.
The re-establishment process should also determine:
the relevant stakeholders to consult (including the Law Council of Australia and the Council of Australian Tribunals)
the preferred functions, processes and structures for a fitforpurpose tribunal system;
ways in which to establish a new system with improved case management and procedural fairness; and
ways to ensure that current matters before the AAT are afforded procedural fairness, and are not impeded or disrupted by the disassembling of the AAT.

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