Relationships 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 Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages under the Relationships Act 1988.

Cases we can hear

If you are a person whose interests are affected by a decision of the Registrar under the Act you may be able to apply to VCAT for review of the decision.

Decisions made by the Registrar under this Act principally relate to the relationships register, established for the registration of ‘registrable’ domestic relationships and caring relationships. Some examples of decisions that may be reviewable are refusals to register a relationship, the revocation of a registration, or amendment or correction of an entry in the register.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Relationships Act 2008 - section 28.

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.

Time limits

You must make your application within 28 days after the later of the day on which

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

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

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 giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

More about how we resolve your case

Read more about hearings at VCAT, professional representation, access and privacy and communicating with VCAT.