The State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) is an independent body that reviews a wide range of government decisions and determines disputes. SAT’s jurisdiction extends to guardianship and administration, equal opportunity, vocational regulation, resources and development, including town planning, and commercial and civil disputes.
SAT’s vision is to be one of Australasia’s leading tribunals that adopts best practice and innovative technology in making fair and timely decisions for the benefit of all Western Australians.
SAT was established in 2005 by the amalgamation of nearly 50 industry and public sector boards and tribunals to create one of Australia’s first ‘super’ tribunals. SAT receives its power to hear and determine matters from over 150 pieces of enabling legislation.
SAT's approach is less formal than a court. Its procedures are flexible and its decision-making transparent. SAT:
- aims to make the correct or preferable decision based on the merits of each application;
- is not a court and, therefore, strict rules of evidence do not apply;
- encourages the resolution of disputes through mediation;
- allows parties to be represented by a lawyer, a person with relevant experience or by themselves;
- holds hearings in public in most cases but may determine an application on the documents; and
- provides reasons for decisions and publishes decisions on its website.
The main objectives of SAT, set out in s 9 of the State Administrative Tribunal Act 2004, are to:
- achieve the resolution of questions, complaints or disputes, and make or review decisions, fairly and according to the substantial merits of the case;
- act as speedily and with as little formality and technicality as is practicable, and minimise the costs to parties; and
- make appropriate use of the knowledge and experience of SAT members.
For more information about the establishment of SAT, see https://www.sat.justice.wa.gov.au/_files/sat_report.pdf
Last updated: 21 August 2023
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