State Administrative Tribunal

Directions Hearings

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A directions hearing is held before a SAT member and all parties are expected to attend. The SAT member tries to identify the issues in dispute and plan how the application will proceed. The member will also consider whether the application should be referred to mediation or a compulsory conference. In some circumstances, SAT might also consider whether the application should be considered on the documents, without the need for a final hearing.

Parties will need to advise SAT of their availability to attend mediation, a compulsory conference or a final hearing at a date suggested in the course of a directions hearing.

The parties may attend in person or be represented by their lawyer or another representative.

If a party cannot attend the hearing because they live outside the metropolitan area, are ill, or face other special circumstances, they may be able to make arrangements with SAT to participate by telephone or video conference.

Will I be asked for more information at the directions hearing?

At the first directions hearing, the SAT member may ask the parties to:

What orders can the SAT member make?

The SAT member will advise how the matter will be handled. The member can make final or preliminary orders.

Preliminary orders may be made concerning:

  • mediation;
  • compulsory conference;
  • decision based on documents;
  • final hearing dates;
  • further directions hearings;
  • further information required;
  • witness and expert statements; and
  • future conduct of the application.

Final orders may be made if:

  • the parties served with the application or a notice of hearing fail to attend the first directions hearing;
  • the parties agree and consent to an outcome and SAT makes the final decision, or
  • the member determines all relevant evidence has been submitted and will make a final decision.

All final decisions by SAT have reasons given for the decision.

Do all matters have a direction hearing?

In some cases, such as applications under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990, matters may proceed straight to a final hearing. In other cases, a decision may be based upon the documents. In these instances a directions hearing may not be held.

Last updated: 1-Sep-2020

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