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History of SAT

SAT was established in Western Australia in 2005 as part of a major reform within the WA justice system.

SAT is the amalgamation of nearly 50 industry and public sector boards and tribunals and a number of courts in creating one of the most comprehensive administrative jurisdictions in Australia.

Why SAT was created

SAT was created following recommendations by the Law Reform Commission's 1999 Review of the Criminal and Civil Justice System. 

A taskforce was set up in March 2001 to implement the recommendations, and develop a model for a review tribunal. The taskforce was chaired by Michael Barker QC (now the Honourable Justice Barker of the Federal Court of Australia), and included seven other members with experience in government, law and administrative review.

The taskforce surveyed WA boards, tribunals and courts. It compared the State's system with the newer streamlined systems of administrative review in other states.

The WA Civil and Administrative Review Tribunal Taskforce Report identified the benefits of SAT as:

  • removing confusion in the public mind because one overarching tribunal is identified as the place where they can seek redress;
  • creating less formal, less expensive and more flexible procedures than used in traditional courts;
  • providing more appropriate and timely means for citizens to obtain administrative justice;
  • developing best tribunal practices across various jurisdictions;
  • improving public accountability of official decision making; and
  • avoiding the ad hoc creation of new tribunals in areas of emerging government decision making.

Establishing SAT

The then Department of Justice's Court Services Division was given the task of developing the proposed tribunal.

The Bills creating SAT were introduced into Parliament in 2003. See SAT Jurisdiction.

After passing through the Legislative Assembly, the Bills were considered by the Legislative Council's Standing Committee on Legislation. On 11 November 2004, the Bills were passed into law and on 4 January 2005 SAT opened for business.

Last updated: 22 August 2023

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