After an appeal application is made

Understand the QCAT Appeal process and find out what happens after making an appeal application.


QCAT may issue directions to the parties

After an appeal application is made, a QCAT decision-maker will assess your appeal and issue directions (instructions) to the parties on how the appeal case is to proceed.

A QCAT decision-maker may issue further directions to parties throughout the course of an appeal to ensure parties have filed sufficient submissions so QCAT can determine the appeal application at final hearing.

The directions may include:

  • a requirement for the applicant to set out the alleged error/s of fact and/or law made by the original decisions maker.
  • a requirement for either party to provide submissions about the appeal they seek to rely on
  • a requirement for a party to file an application for including additional evidence in the appeal with supporting submissions, if they seek to file and rely upon additional evidence that was not available for the original proceedings
  • decisions about legal representation, stay applications, joining of parties, non-publication, extensions of time and other miscellaneous matters
  • scheduled dates for proceedings such as an appeal hearing or on papers appeal hearing

Please view a sample set of interactive directions below so you can understand steps QCAT may direct you to complete throughout the life of a case. You can click the icons in the sample set to learn more about how to read your directions.

Example of directions

QCAT issues the directions with due dates that the parties must comply with. If a party does not comply with these due dates, it delays the process and QCAT can make orders against the non-compliant party such as:

  • costs orders for delaying the appeal process
  • guillotine orders dismissing the appeal
  • orders to progress the appeal to final hearing

If you believe another party has not complied with the directions, you can notify QCAT in writing of the non-compliance.

If you are unable to comply with directions at any stage, you can request an extension to the compliance dates. Please see step 7 below for more information on how to make this request.


QCAT will ask for a response in the appeal

QCAT provides the party who made the appeal with sealed copies of the initial appeal application after it has been made.

A sealed copy of the appeal application must be given to the other parties in the original case (served) so they can respond to the appeal.

After the appeal application has been served, QCAT will advise the respondent when to respond to the claims in the appeal via directions.

It is important as the respondent in the appeal that you respond, to put forward your side of the appeal argument.


A final decision will be made on the appeal

QCAT will hold a final appeal hearing to decide the appeal.

A decision-maker of the QCAT Appeals Tribunal will make the final decision in any of the following ways:

  • at the hearing orally, including delivering their reasons for appeal decision orally
  • reserve their decision and make the appeal decision with written reasons after the hearing; or
  • at an on papers hearing without the parties present

If an oral appeal hearing is scheduled, the parties must attend and present their case.

If an oral appeal decision is delivered, it will be put in writing and sent to the parties after the hearing.

If the appeal decision was made on the papers or reserved, the decision and reasons will be delivered in writing and sent to the parties when handed down by the QCAT Appeal Tribunal decision-maker.

A range of factors may impact upon the length of time to wait for an appeal hearing, such as the complexity of the particular appeal, parties’ non-compliance with directions and the availability of a venue.

Parties can also request a transcript of the appeal proceedings including the oral reasons or make claims for costs if appropriate.


QCAT will send you a notice of a proceeding

Parties may be directed to attend various proceedings such as a directions hearing or final appeal hearing.

Before any appeal proceeding, QCAT will send a written notice to the parties with details of the proceeding type, date, time, place and what you need to do or bring to prepare yourself.

Sometimes QCAT will conduct telephone or videoconference hearings if appropriate and you will be notified of this.

If the appeal is listed for an on papers hearing you will not be required attend physically and QCAT will advise you in the directions about this type of proceeding without issuing a notice.

The person who is the applicant must attend if required or QCAT may decide to dismiss the appeal application if a reasonable excuse is not provided for their absence.

The person who is the respondent in the matter must also attend if required or QCAT may make orders or decide the matter in the absence of the respondent.


Filing new evidence and other material to support your appeal

When you make an application to appeal a QCAT decision, it does not give you the right to file new evidence in the case. Appealing a decision is not a rehearing of the case you originally made.

Generally, when you file an appeal application you are limited to making submissions to the QCAT Appeal Tribunal about how the original decision-maker made an error in fact or law or a mixture of both with a supporting appeal book if required.

If either party seeks to rely upon evidence or a document that was not before the QCAT decision-maker in the original case, you will need to apply to the QCAT Appeal Tribunal for leave to file the new evidence (additional evidence).

The QCAT Appeal Tribunal will usually notify you if you can make this application when directions are issued to the parties setting out how the appeal will proceed.

If you decide to make an application to the QCAT Appeal Tribunal to submit further additional evidence you will be required to explain why it was not previously available, why it is important and why it should be accepted.

You should complete section 1 under PART C of the form attached here.

PLEASE NOTE - You should not complete this application in your appeal until such time as the QCAT Appeals Tribunal has issued directions setting out what steps you need to take to make an application to file additional evidence. Please wait until the QCAT Appeals Tribunal issues the appeal directions.


You may be asked to prepare an 'appeal book' for the appeal decision-maker

Depending on the type of case you are seeking to appeal, if required, the QCAT Appeal Tribunal may request you to prepare an ‘appeal book’.

An appeal book is basically a folder prepared by you containing a record of the basic evidence and documents from your primary case where the original decision was made. It should contain copies of documents used at the original hearing that are directly relevant to the issues to be considered by the QCAT Appeal Tribunal.

The appeal book generally should have a cover sheet identifying specific information about the appeal and an index providing a description of all attached documents.

You can learn more about the specific instructions you need to follow to prepare an appeal book here.

Please note that you are only required to file an appeal book when requested by the QCAT Appeal Tribunal. When you appeal, not all case types require the parties to file an appeal book. If you are required to file an appeal book, the QCAT Appeal Tribunal will issue directions instructing you to do so. Please wait until the QCAT Appeals Tribunal issues the appeal directions.


You can make requests to QCAT before a final appeal hearing

Parties may request QCAT to approve various actions or decisions during the course of the appeal including:

  • extending compliance time limits
  • attending telephone or video appeal proceedings
  • making orders/directions by consent
  • making non-publication or confidentiality orders
  • adjourning a proceeding to another date

If you make one of these requests, you must serve the other parties with the application. Parties are normally asked to provide submissions on the request before QCAT makes a decision.

You can learn more about requesting these actions or decisions and the process to do so here


Legal representation and support can be requested

Parties may obtain legal advice or assistance at any stage throughout the course of their appeal. Lawyers can help parties write submissions, and prepare for the appeal hearing.

In QCAT proceedings and hearings, parties generally must represent themselves, without their lawyers present.

However, you can ask QCAT for permission to be legally represented or have someone else act on your behalf in the hearing. In some matters you do not require permission from QCAT to be represented.

You can learn more about appearance at proceedings and representation here

If a party requires special assistance to enable them to properly participate in proceedings, please advise QCAT in the application or response form or via email as soon as possible so appropriate arrangements can be made, including requiring:

  • an interpreter.
  • space to accommodate wheelchair access or other mobility aids.
  • a hearing loop.
  • special arrangements to feel safe in a hearing (for example, if the parties to a matter are experiencing domestic and family violence).
  • non-publication orders if a party has concerns about personal safety and their identity or address being disclosed.

You can withdraw an appeal

You can withdraw your appeal application at any stage during the process. For example, if you have considered the merits of your appeal and wish to discontinue to avoid further costs you can notify QCAT you wish to withdraw.

Please note in some cases, permission to withdraw your matter may be required by a QCAT decision-maker.

If you wish to discontinue your appeal, learn more about the withdrawal process here

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