VCAT words and phrases

A

Act

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic)


Adjournment

A change to the date of a directions hearing A directions hearing is a hearing where a VCAT member decides how a case should be managed and how much time it will take. , mediation Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. , compulsory conference Compulsory conferences are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of a VCAT member. or hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. is called an adjournment A change to the date of a directions hearing, mediation, compulsory conference or hearing is called an adjournment. .


Administrative mention

A scheduled time when the VCAT member A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. reviews the case in their office to make sure required actions have been completed.


Administrator

A person appointed by VCAT who makes financial and legal decisions on behalf of someone with a disability An impairment or combination of impairments – physical, neurological, or acquired brain injury. To be defined as a disability, the impairment would be permanent, result in significantly reduced capacity to communicate, move around or manage day-to-day activities and require ongoing support. .


ADR

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a way of resolving a dispute that does not involve a formal hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. . It may involve a compulsory conference Compulsory conferences are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of a VCAT member. or mediation Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. . We use both of these to help parties resolve matters by agreement, without having to go to a hearing. If the parties cannot settle a matter at a compulsory conference or mediation, the case generally goes to a hearing.


Advance care directive

A document that sets out a person’s binding instructions or preferences and values about medical treatment. The directive is referred to when the person does not have the capacity to make decisions about their medical treatment.


Affidavit

A written statement where the contents are sworn or affirmed to be true. Affidavits mu​st be signed in front of a witness who is an 'authorised person'. 


Alternative dispute resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a way of resolving a dispute that does not involve a formal hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. . It may involve a compulsory conference Compulsory conferences are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of a VCAT member. or mediation Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. . We use both of these to help parties resolve matters by agreement, without having to go to a hearing. If the parties cannot settle a matter at a compulsory conference or mediation, the case generally goes to a hearing.


Applicant
The person or organisation applying to VCAT.

C

Certified copy

A copy of a document on which an authorised person has certified: ‘This is a true and complete copy of the original’.


Civil law

The area of law that covers disputes between organisations, companies or individuals, such as the law relating to contracts.


Commencement

Commencement Commencement is defined in the Regulations. It includes the lodgement of an application, a claim, a counterclaim, a third party notice, or any other originating process. is defined in the Regulations. It includes the lodgement of an application, a claim, a counterclaim If you believe you have a claim against the applicant, you can lodge your own claim with VCAT. This is called a counterclaim. Most case types allow a counterclaim but for some case types it is not possible. , a third party A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. notice, or any other originating process.


Company title corporation

Also known as a share ownership scheme. It is an arrangement where owners do not own individual units but instead own shares in a company that owns the whole development. In this type of scheme, the ownership of shares gives the shareholder the right to exclusive occupation of their particular unit.


Compulsory conference

Compulsory conferences are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute with the help of a VCAT member A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. . The member does not make a decision in the case. Their role is to help you and the other party A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. to agree on a fair resolution instead of VCAT deciding the case for you at a hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. .


Conciliation

A form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties negotiate with the help of an independent person. The aim is to sort out the dispute by agreement.


Counterclaim

If you believe you have a claim against the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. , you can lodge your own claim with VCAT. This is called a counterclaim If you believe you have a claim against the applicant, you can lodge your own claim with VCAT. This is called a counterclaim. Most case types allow a counterclaim but for some case types it is not possible. . Most case types allow a counterclaim but for some case types it is not possible.


D

Daily hearing fee

The daily hearing fee The daily hearing fee is the fee payable for each day or part of a day of a hearing. is the fee payable for each day or part of a day of a hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. .


Decision maker

A person who makes or has made a decision under legislation that gives them this authority.


Declaration of Service

Use this form to confirm that you have provided a copy of your VCAT application and supporting documents to the other parties in a Goods and Services case. This declaration must be sworn before an authorised witness.


Directions hearing

A directions hearing A directions hearing is a hearing where a VCAT member decides how a case should be managed and how much time it will take. is a hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision.  where a VCAT member A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. decides how a case should be managed and how much time it will take.


E

Ex parte

An order made by VCAT without requiring all parties to be present, including people or bodies affected by the order.


Expert report

An expert report An expert report is a written report from an expert that may be used as evidence in a VCAT case. is a written report from an expert that may be used as evidence in a VCAT case. 


Expert witness

A person with specialised knowledge based on their training, study or experience.


F

Fee relief

VCAT fees that are waived, reduced or postponed due to financial hardship.


Fee waiver

Fees related to a case are dropped based on a decision made by VCAT's Principal Registrar The officer in charge of the administrative section of VCAT, which is known as the registry. or their delegate.


G

General valuation (for Land Valuation cases)

A general valuation is the process of assessing the value of all properties on the same date. A general valuation or revaluation is conducted by property valuers biennially for all valuation authorities throughout Victoria. 

The valuations are provided to the rating authorities, such as Council’s and the State Revenue Office for the purpose of rates and taxes. Revaluations ensure that both Council and State Government recognise the changes that occur in the property market, both positive and negative, and that these changes are reflected in the level of rates or land tax a landowner/ratepayer will pay.


Guardian

A guardian A person who makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of someone with a disability, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services. makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a disability An impairment or combination of impairments – physical, neurological, or acquired brain injury. To be defined as a disability, the impairment would be permanent, result in significantly reduced capacity to communicate, move around or manage day-to-day activities and require ongoing support. , including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment, and access to people and services. 


H

Hearing

The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision.


I

Incorporated association

An organisation, such as a club, formally set up as a separate, legally-recognised body.


Injunction

An order that stops a party A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them.  from doing something, or makes a party do something.


Interim injunction

VCAT makes an interim injunction VCAT makes an interim injunction when there isn’t enough time to tell other parties about an injunction application. During a hearing, we will decide whether the injunction will continue. when there isn’t enough time to tell other parties about an injunction An order that stops a party from doing something, or makes a party do something. application. During a hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. , we will decide whether the injunction will continue.


Interim order

A temporary tribunal order that stays in place only until VCAT can make a decision on the issue at a full hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. .


Intervention order

A court order that prohibits a person from harming or harassing someone. 


J

Joined party

Someone who has been added as a party A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. to a VCAT case. We can order someone to be joined as a party if we or another party think they should be bound by or will benefit from a VCAT decision or order, if their interests are affected or for any other reason. The Attorney-General, the Small Business Commissioner and the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria are entitled to be joined as parties in a VCAT case if they request it.


Judicial member

Members who hear and decide cases at VCAT and are also judges at a Victorian court. VCAT's president is a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria and VCAT's vice presidents are judges of the County Court of Victoria.


Jurisdiction

The authority of a court or tribunal to hear matters brought before it.


L

List

A List A List is an area in VCAT that deals with cases of a similar nature. For example, the Residential Tenancies List decides cases between tenants and landlords, and the Civil Claims List handles disputes about buying or selling goods and services. is an area in VCAT that deals with cases of a similar nature. For example, the Residential Tenancies List decides cases between tenants and landlords, and the Civil Claims List handles disputes about buying or selling goods and services.


M

Mediation

Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. The mediator does not make a decision in the case. Their role is to help you and the other party A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. to agree on a fair resolution at the mediation Mediations are confidential meetings where parties discuss ways to resolve their dispute, with the help of an impartial mediator. instead of VCAT deciding the case for you at a hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. .


Medical research procedure

A procedure carried out for medical research. For example, a procedure as part of a clinical trial.


Medical treatment decision maker

A person who has the authority to make medical treatment decisions on behalf of another person.


Member

A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. See more about VCAT members.


N

Non-judicial member

A VCAT member A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. who hears and decides cases at VCAT and who do not act as judges in a Victorian court.


P

Party

A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them.


Points of claim

A statement from the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. describing what the issues are and what they are claiming. Also called a statement of claim A statement from the applicant describing what the issues are and what they are claiming. Also called points of claim.


Points of defence

A statement from the respondent The party against whom orders or relief is sought by an applicant. stating whether they agree or disagree with the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. and what they say in their application. Also called a defence or statement of grounds A statement from the respondent setting out reasons about whether they agree or disagree with the applicant and about what they say in their application. Also called a defence or 'points of defence'. .


Practice note

A document at VCAT that details VCAT procedures, instructions, rules, processes and information. There are practice notes that apply across all of VCAT, for example PNVCAT1 - Common procedures. Some Lists have their own practice notes that provide specific information about processes, procedures and rules in the List A List is an area in VCAT that deals with cases of a similar nature. For example, the Residential Tenancies List decides cases between tenants and landlords, and the Civil Claims List handles disputes about buying or selling goods and services. .


Presidential members

Presidential members Presidential members include the president, vice presidents and deputy presidents. Some types of cases can only be heard or dealt with by a VCAT presidential member. include the president, vice presidents and deputy presidents. Some types of cases can only be heard or dealt with by a VCAT presidential member A person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. .


R

Registrar

The officer in charge of the administrative section of VCAT, which is known as the registry The administrative section of VCAT that accepts documents that are filed with the tribunal and also handles some public enquiries. See also registrar. . See also registry.


Registry

The administrative section of VCAT that accepts documents that are filed with the tribunal and also handles some public enquiries. See also registrar The officer in charge of the administrative section of VCAT, which is known as the registry. .


Regulations

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Fees) Regulations 2016 (Vic)


Residual land

Residual land Residual land is land for the common use of all the units in a development. is land for the common use of all the units in a development.


Respondent

The party A person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. against whom orders or relief is sought by an applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. .


Rules

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2008 (Vic)


S

Seeking leave

If you hear or see the words 'seek leave' at VCAT it usually means 'ask permission'.  


Service company

A service company A service company is a company that owns the land known as residual land. is a company that owns the land known as residual land Residual land is land for the common use of all the units in a development. .


Serving the application on you

When VCAT or the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. sends you a copy of the application as part of the formal VCAT process.


Site tenant

Residents who own their own dwelling but rent the underlying land.


Statement of claim

A statement from the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. describing what the issues are and what they are claiming. Also called  points of claim A statement from the applicant describing what the issues are and what they are claiming. Also called a statement of claim.  .


Statement of grounds

A statement from the respondent The party against whom orders or relief is sought by an applicant. setting out reasons about whether they agree or disagree with the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. and about what they say in their application. Also called a defence or ' points of defence A statement from the respondent stating whether they agree or disagree with the applicant and what they say in their application. Also called a defence or statement of grounds. '.


Statement of Service

A written statement from the applicant The person or organisation applying to VCAT. that they provided a copy of their VCAT application and supporting documents to the other parties in a Planning and Environment or Land Valuation case.


Stay of proceedings

An order that a particular legal action stop. A stay may be for a fixed period, until certain events occur, or permanent.


Submission

A document that sets out your side of a case or dispute. It should be sent to all parties. Depending on the type of case it will be your responsibility or ours to send the submission A document that sets out your side of a case or dispute. It should be sent to all parties. Depending on the type of case it will be your responsibility or ours to send the submission to all parties. to all parties. 


Subpoena

A VCAT order saying that a person must appear at VCAT to give verbal evidence or provide particular documents. See also summons A formal document issued by the tribunal which says someone must appear at VCAT on the date stated in the document. .


Summons

A formal document issued by the tribunal which says someone must appear at VCAT on the date stated in the document. 


Support person

Someone who represents another person’s interests about medical treatment. They support a person to make, communicate and help bring about the person’s medical treatment decisions.


Suppression order

Also known as a non-publication order.

A suppression order Also known as a non-publication order. A suppression order is an order made by VCAT or another authority that ensures information is not published or released beyond those with a right to have it. is an order made by VCAT or another authority that ensures information is not published or released beyond those with a right to have it. For example, some hearings at VCAT may be subject to a suppression order and that means we cannot release audio CDs or transcripts of the hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. while the supression order is in place.


T

Tenancy

The agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property.


Tribunal

A body, similar in procedures to a court, that hears and decides disputes.


V

Valuation authority (for Land Valuation cases)

A valuation authority is either a municipal council or the Valuer-General if the council has opted to transfer their revaluation responsibilities to the Valuer-General.


W

Witness

A person who gives evidence at a hearing The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. either in person or in writing. They must have knowledge of the facts they are giving evidence about. 


Written communication

Communication made in writing such as a letter, email or fax transmission.