QCAT COVID-19 Update

Last updated 31 July 2020

New QCAT Practice Directions in response to COVID-19

Two new practice directions (7 & 8) have been issued by QCAT’s President relating to Tribunal’s operations during the COVID-19 emergency.

These practice directions will take effect from Monday 3 August 2020.

QCAT Practice No. 7 of 2020 (PDF, 2.6 MB)

Practice Direction No. 7 of 2020 replaces Practice Direction 5 of 2020, and outlines arrangements for all non-urgent minor civil dispute matters from 3 August to 31 August 2020. This practice direction does not apply to MCD matters heard by Magistrates.

Specifically, the changes relate to:

  • All Mediations shall be conducted by telephone, unless otherwise ordered by the Tribunal in particular cases.
  • It is the expectation that all hearings will occur remotely, unless otherwise authorised by the presiding Member or Adjudicator.
  • After filing, applicants in all non-urgent MCD matters will be sent a Hearing Advice, and hearings will not be listed until certain steps are completed. The applicant must, within 14 days of receiving the Hearing Advice, file all material to be relied on at hearing, provide that material to the respondent and inform the Tribunal by email of the date the material was sent to the respondent. If the applicant has no further material to rely upon, the applicant must inform the Tribunal by email. If the applicant does not comply:
    • the matter will not proceed to a hearing, and
    • the Tribunal may ask the applicant to show why the proceeding should not be dismissed for non-compliance with the Practice Direction.
  • The respondent must, within 14 days of receiving the applicant’s documents, file all material to be relied on at hearing, provide that material to the applicant and inform the Tribunal by email of the date the material was sent to the applicant.  The respondent must also confirm their mobile and land line phone numbers to be contacted by the Tribunal. If the respondent fails to provide the Tribunal with their contact details for the hearing, the respondent will not be contacted for the hearing and the hearing may proceed in their absence.
  • If the respondent has filed a counter-application, then the applicant must provide their further evidence within 14 days or inform the tribunal that the applicant has no further evidence to file and that the applicant is ready to proceed to hearing. If the applicant does not comply, the matter will still proceed to a hearing.
  • The preferred method of filing documents in compliance with the Hearing Advice is by email to the relevant registry’s email address.

In exceptional circumstances where a person has been authorised to attend the Tribunal in person, that person must complete and sign QCAT’s COVID-19 Personal Statement, which has been updated to include a declaration that the person has not been to a Queensland Government declared hotspot

QCAT Practice Direction No. 8 of 2020 (PDF, 990.9 KB)

Practice Direction No. 8 of 2020 replaces Practice Direction 4 of 2020, and outlines arrangements for all other matters other than Guardianship and Minor Civil Disputes from 3 August to 31 August 2020.

Specifically, the changes relate to:

  • All Directions Hearings, Compulsory Conferences and Mediations shall be conducted by telephone, unless otherwise ordered by the Tribunal in particular cases.
  • It is the expectation that all hearings will occur remotely, unless otherwise authorised by the presiding Member or Adjudicator.
  • All in person hearings which have been listed to be heard in Brisbane or by a QCAT Member or Adjudicator at a Magistrates Court between 3 August and 31 August shall be adjourned to a date to be fixed. Any matter adjourned shall be reviewed with a view of ascertaining how best to proceed.
  • In exceptional circumstances where a person has been authorised to attend the Tribunal in person, that person must complete and sign QCAT’s COVID-19 Personal Statement, which has been updated to include a declaration that the person has not been to a Queensland Government declared hotspot.

The full practice directions can be found at www.qcat.qld.gov.au/resources/practice-directions#2020.

Health advice

For the most up to date information about COVID-19 please visit the Queensland Health website.

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