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The Australian Government has made changes to functions overseen by the Attorney-General's Department and Department of Home Affairs. These changes involve the transfers of:

  • identity and biometrics functions into the Attorney-General's Department
  • protective security policy and government and major event security functions to the Department of Home Affairs.

A new system of federal administrative review

The Australian Government has announced a reform of Australia's system of administrative review. This will abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and establish a new federal administrative review body. The reform includes a transparent, merit-based system of appointments.

Purpose of the reform

This reform is designed to ensure Australia’s system of administrative review is:

  • user-focused
  • efficient
  • accessible
  • independent
  • fair.

Key features

Key features of the reform are to:

  • implement a transparent and merit-based appointments process
  • appoint additional members to the current AAT to tackle existing backlogs
  • implement sustainable funding arrangements
  • implement a single, updated case management system to address critical business risks to the AAT
  • introduce procedural efficiencies and process improvements
  • implement support services and emphasise early resolution where possible.

New appointment guidelines

As part of the reform, the government has developed new AAT Appointment Guidelines.

These guidelines set out a transparent and merit-based process for the appointment (including reappointment) of members. Key features of the appointment process include:

  • expressions of interest in appointment of non-judicial members will be sought via public advertisement
  • selection of non-judicial members will be made against a core set of selection criteria, supplemented by additional criteria as required
  • an assessment panel will be established to assess applicants’ claims against the selection criteria
  • a panel report endorsed by the chair of the assessment panel will be provided to the Attorney-General recommending candidates found suitable for appointment and reappointment.

Development of legislation

The government will introduce legislation in 2023 to abolish the AAT and create a new federal administrative review body. A dedicated taskforce established within our department is working across government to implement the reform and ensure there is a smooth transition to the new body.

Public consultation

Public consultation on the legislative arrangements for the new administrative review body has now concluded. The department received 120 submissions on the Administrative Review Reform Issues Paper and 287 responses to the accompanying Short Survey:

The government is currently considering the submissions made.

Expert Advisory Group

An Expert Advisory Group (Advisory Group) is guiding the reform to Australia’s system of federal administrative review.

The Advisory Group comprises:

  • former High Court Justice, the Hon. Patrick Keane AC KC (Chair)
  • Ms Rachel Amamoo
  • Emeritus Professor Robin Creyke AO
  • Professor Anna Cody
  • Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO
  • The Hon. Alan Robertson SC
  • Emeritus Professor Cheryl Saunders AO.

Each member is highly qualified and brings a wealth of experience to the Advisory Group, which will guide the delivery of a new, trusted federal administrative review body that serves the interests of the Australian community.

Arrangements for AAT staff

Once the new federal administrative review body has been established, all ongoing and non-ongoing Australian Public Service employees employed by the AAT at that time will transition to the new body on equivalent terms and conditions.

The government has consulted the AAT on the design of the new body and will continue to engage with the AAT over the course of the reform.

Impact on cases currently before the AAT

All cases currently before the AAT will continue as usual while the reform is progressed. If you have applied to the AAT for review of a decision, you do not need to submit a new application.

You can apply for a review of a decision while the reform is being progressed.

Many cases currently before the AAT will be decided or finalised before the new federal administrative review body is established. Any remaining cases will transition to the new review body. Applicants will not need to submit a new application for review of these cases. Applicants will receive notice prior to the establishment of a new body and be provided with information on the process of transitioning their case to the new body.

As part of the reform, the government will appoint at least 75 additional members to the AAT to address the existing backlog of cases.


Information about appointment opportunities for the AAT and the new administrative review body can be found on the Attorney-General’s Department Statutory Appointments page. This page will be updated periodically as opportunities are advertised.

Find out more

To find out more about the reform: