Reviews and rehearings
You can apply to have a case reopened. If we agree to your request, we review VCAT’s order at a rehearing.
For some case types, you can apply to VCAT for a review of an order that affects you on the grounds that you didn’t appear and were not represented at the hearing.
Only some cases can be reopened at VCAT.
You must ask for a hearing within the set timeframe of finding out about the order:
- cases about powers of attorney, guardianship or administration, and medical treatment and advance care directives – ask for a rehearing within 28 days
- all other cases – apply for a rehearing within 14 days.
We may agree to a rehearing if:
- you applied for the review within the timeframe
- you have a reasonable excuse for not attending the original hearing or not having someone attend for you
- you have a reasonable case to argue about the subject matter of the order
- agreeing to the review would not unreasonably disadvantage another party.
If so, we may rehear the case immediately, as if the original hearing never happened or we may schedule it for hearing on another day. Both parties need to have all of their evidence ready and be prepared in case we rehear on the day.
How much it costs
You must pay a fee if you apply for a review for some case types.
Find out if you need to pay a fee. See fees: select your case type and additional services.
What happens next
We assess your application and contact you to give you and the other parties a date for a review and rehearing. We consider the application for review at a hearing. There is no fee to attend.
If you made the application to reopen the case, bring information that supports your application for review to the hearing including:
- your reasons for not attending the original hearing or not having someone attend for you
- information that shows you have a reasonable case to argue about the subject matter of the order.
If we agree to reopen the case, we might rehear the original application immediately. Be prepared to present your case, bring all supporting documents and any witnesses. We will tell you on the day if we decide to rehear the case at a later date.
If you didn’t make the application to reopen the case, and you disagree with the application, bring information and any witnesses that support your arguments about why we shouldn’t reopen the case. This could include:
- information that shows when and how the person applying for a review became aware of the original hearing and order
- evidence of any of costs since you submitted your application at VCAT.
If we agree to your application to reopen the case, we may order you to pay any costs that the other party has wasted.
If you’ve taken any action to enforce the order, we recommend you stop this enforcement action until the application for review has been heard. You should let the court know that there has been an application to reopen your case.
Send a copy of your documents that support your case to the other parties right away.
If you’re attending VCAT by phone or video make sure you’ve sent any documents you want the member to see to VCAT and to the other parties by email.
Tell us in writing if your or your representative’s contact details change.
Check the date and location you need to go to. This is shown on the notice we sent you. Look at the location and plan how to get there.
You can find out the time and room to go to at Upcoming hearings after 4.30pm the day before your hearing.
It’s important that you attend so that you can have your say. Find out about what to expect on the day – including how to behave, and how the hearing works.
If you made the application for review and don’t attend, your application for review may be dismissed. If you didn’t make the application for review and don’t attend, VCAT may make orders that affect you.
If you are attending by phone or video
If you are attending by phone or video make sure you’re ready at the time we give you. It’s too late to ask to attend by phone on the day of the hearing.
We send an email with details of how to join the call. Find out how to join by phone or video conference.
If you are attending in person
Arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow time to get through the security screening (similar to security at the airport) and find your hearing room.
When you arrive:
- Check your room at Upcoming hearings or tell a staff member at the counter that you’ve arrived for your hearing
- Go to the hearing room and be ready to present your case
- Speak to a staff member if you have arranged security, disability support, an interpreter, or technology for your hearing.
If your application is successful, the original order is suspended pending the further hearing of the matter.
Another hearing will be scheduled to take place immediately on the same day we hear your application, or we may schedule it on another day.
If your application is unsuccessful, the original order remains in place.
You can only apply for a review of an order once, unless we give you permission to apply again.
Decisions and orders
After we listen to both sides of a dispute at VCAT, we make a decision. Find out the difference between a decision we make at the hearing and an order.
Appeal a decision
You can ask to appeal a VCAT decision at the Supreme Court of Victoria or the Court of Appeal if you think that we made a mistake in the way we applied the law in your case or if you think you have been denied natural justice.
Our fair hearing obligation
The obligation to provide a fair hearing is an important part of VCAT’s role and applies to everything we do.