Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (review)

This page provides general information and should not be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you are unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change. 

VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Patient Review Panel under the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008.

Cases VCAT can hear

You may be able to apply to VCAT to review a decision of the Patient Review Panel if you are a person whose interests are affected by a reviewable decision or the failure of the Patient Review Panel to act.

Reviewable decisions include:

  • that there is a barrier to treatment of a person under the Act
  • not to approve a surrogacy arrangement
  • not to allow the posthumous use of a person’s gametes or embryo
  • not to approve the period during which gametes or an embryo may be stored
  • to remove or not to remove an embryo from storage.

Time limits

You must make your application within 28 days on which:

  • the decision was made, or
  • the statement of reasons is given to you or you are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act.

You may be able to apply for an extension to this time limit.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.

What can VCAT order?

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 remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker Definition A person who makes or has made a decision under legislation that gives them this authority. giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish 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 free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

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

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

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim. The following services may be able to help 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. For more about applying for confidentiality.