Application for review of a decision

Under some Acts of Parliament, VCAT has the power to review – reconsider – decisions made by an original decision maker such as a government agency, a statutory authority or other Administrative decision maker.

This page provides general information and shouldn't be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you're unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change. 

When making a decision on review, VCAT has all the powers of the original decision-maker and the additional powers outlined in the relevant Act of Parliament and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.

Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and send back the matter for reconsideration by the decision-maker giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

Cases we can't help with

We can’t accept some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation.

Read the decision letter

Usually, the decision-maker sends you a decision letter outlining details of the decision including reasons. The decision letter should tell you if you have the right to apply for a review of the decision at VCAT and the Act that applies. If the decision letter doesn't tell you that you can apply to VCAT, we may not have the power to hear your case. If you don't have a copy of the decision letter request a copy from the decision-maker. We will ask you for it before we process your application.

    Time limits

    For most applications for review of a decision, there are time limits. Carefully check the time limit on your decision letter.

    Name the Act in your application

    When you complete the application for review form include the name of the relevant Act.

    Commonly used Legislation

    Applications are most commonly made under:

    Legislation that applies to this case type

    Putting the original decision on hold

    Applying for a review does not put the original decision on hold. In most cases, the original decision stands until we make a decision. In some cases, we can make a stay order, which is an order that places the original decision on hold. If you want the original decision put on hold, you must ask for this by indicating you want a ‘stay’ on the application form and briefly explaining why you're seeking a stay.


    We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

    We can't give you legal advice. This means we can't tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

    Seek legal help if you're unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

    Make an application

    You may have to pay a fee to apply to VCAT to review a decision. Learn more about fees or apply for fee relief.

    Print-friendly application form

    Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

    You don't need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you want to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.

    Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

    Find legal services that may be able to assist you

    Access and privacy

    VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

    VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.