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Reform of merits tribunal

Cabinet has agreed, in principle, to amalgamate the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Veterans' Review Board, the Immigration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal into a single tribunal, the Administrative Review Tribunal.

The amalgamation would streamline administrative structures and enhance operations.

It is envisaged that separate divisions of the proposed ART would develop and maintain flexible, cost-effective and non-legalistic procedures relevant to their jurisdictions.

An interdepartmental committee comprising senior Commonwealth officers will devise a strategy for implementing the amalgamation.

The basis and scope of administrative review, designed to reduce the number of applications, the overall costs of merits review and excessive legalism, will be examined.

Detailed implementation of the recommendations for improvements to process and procedures of merits review tribunals contained in the Better Decisions Report of the Administrative Review Council will also be considered.

Media contacts:

Megan Bonny (Attorney-General's office) 06 277 7300

Brett Bayly (Attorney-General's Dept.) 06 250 5402