Appeals in minor civil disputes

QCAT registry staff cannot give you advice about whether you should appeal against a decision or whether your application would be successful.

What should I do before I decide to lodge an appeal?

  1. Make sure you understand why QCAT made the decision. QCAT may give you reasons when they make the decision. If they do not, you may request reasons. The tribunal will provide you with the reasons for the decision in written or CD format.
  2. If you need help to understand the reasons, please seek legal advice.
  3. Understand the costs involved in appealing a decision.
  4. Understand that you may not be given permission to appeal.
  5. Understand that if you are given permission to appeal, you may not be successful.

Can I appeal against the decision?

In your application, you have to state why you say QCAT made an error and why there has been a substantial injustice. A substantial injustice does not occur only because you were not successful and the other person won the case. You must to refer to the relevant evidence or the reasons for the decision to prove your case.

How do I ask for leave to appeal?

You must lodge an appeal by submitting Form 39 - Application for leave to appeal or appeal (PDF, 301.9 KB) together with relevant application fees.

There are strict time limits for seeking leave to appeal. You must lodge the Form 39 within 28 days of:

  • the day you received notice of the decision where reasons were not required to be given; or
  • the day you received notice of the decision where reasons were not requested within 14 days after the decision takes effect under section 122 (Request for written reasons); or
  • the day you were given written reasons for the decision; or
  • if you applied to the tribunal for a renewal, reopening or correction of a mistake – the day that the application was finally dealt with.

(Correction of a mistake means a clerical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission or a material miscalculation of figures/description of a matter, person or thing mentioned in the decision [see section 135 of the QCAT Act]).

It is recommended if you intend to appeal, you do so as soon as possible. If you do not start your appeal within the time limit, QCAT may refuse to accept your application. You will need to ask for the Appeal Tribunal for an extension of time. Typically, extensions of time are only granted if you have a special reason for the delay.

What effect does applying for leave to appeal have on the QCAT decision?

Normally a decision will take effect on the day it is made. Applying for leave to appeal will not stop the decision taking effect. However, you can ask the QCAT Appeal Tribunal to stop the original decision taking effect until your application for leave to appeal is decided. This is called a ‘stay’ of the decision.

The QCAT Appeal Tribunal will only stay the decision in certain circumstances. They will look at the strength of your case, the balance of convenience between the parties, and, if the decision was to pay money to another party, whether you will have any difficulty recovering the amount paid from the other person.

See also LawRight, an independent, not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation, for further information about appeals. If you require legal advice, LawRight offers pro bono legal services for some civil matters.