Enforcing QCAT decisions

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act) established the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).   QCAT has subsumed the jurisdiction of nineteen (19) former tribunals and aims to provide the public with an expedient mechanism for resolving disputes at the minimum expense.

QCAT’s jurisdiction

QCAT hears various matters including, but not limited to, building disputes, anti-discrimination matters, dividing fence disputes, residential tenancy disputes, occupational regulation matters and minor civil disputes.

Minor civil disputes are those that exist either between individuals or an individual and a trader or business and valued up to and including $A25,000. Minor civil disputes can include claims for property damage, consumer complaints and residential tenancy disputes.

Enforcing orders of QCAT

Sections 131 and 132 of the QCAT Act set out the procedure involved in order to enforce:

  • a monetary decision; and
  • a non-monetary decision.

Both sections require an individual who seeks to enforce a QCAT decision to file a copy of the decision and an affidavit in relation to non-compliance in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Proposed amendments

The Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Qld) (Bill) once passed will help reconcile ambiguities in QCAT Act and assist in the efficient allocation of resources and resolution of disputes.   The amendments will also provide immunity to QCAT conciliators and costs assessors as other QCAT members.

Clause 109 of the Bill proposes to amend sections 131 and 132 of the QCAT Act. If passed, the amendments will remove the requirement that that a copy of the decision and an affidavit of non-compliance be filed in the relevant court.

The amendments will mean, in effect, that a decision of QCAT represents an enforceable court order under Chapter 19 and 20 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld).

The benefit of removing this administrative requirement is highlighted in the Explanatory Notes for the Bill.  The Explanatory Note states the amendment of the QCAT Act is to “reduce red tape by streamlining the process for enforcing a final decision of the tribunal in a court”.

References

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld)
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld)
Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Qld)

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Further information

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Malcolm Burrows Lawyer BrisbaneMalcolm Burrows B.Bus.,MBA.,LL.B.,LL.M.,MQLS.
Legal Practice Director
Telephone: (07) 3221 0013
Mobile: 0419 726 535
e: mburrows@dundaslawyers.com.au

Disclaimer

This article contains general commentary only. You should not rely on the commentary as legal advice. Specific legal advice should be obtained to ascertain how the law applies to your particular circumstances.

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Street Address Suite 12, Level 9, 320 Adelaide Street Brisbane QLD 4001

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