Student Assistance Review Tribunals, 1981
Summary of the report
The Council's report was transmitted to the Government on 23 January 1981, and was tabled in the Parliament on 27 August 1981.
The report contains nine recommendations. The Council did not recommend transfer of the Student Assistance Review Tribunal ('SART') jurisdiction to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ('AAT') at that stage, but recommended changes to improve the SART's procedures. Recommendations covered the following areas:
- appeals and references to the AAT should be permitted in certain circumstances,
- legal representation should be possible before the SART,
- access to information,
- withdrawal of references to the SART,
- Ministerial directions,
- extensions of time, and
- time limits for recommendation and for the forwarding of requests for review by authorised persons.
Response to the report
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1984 implemented most of the Council's recommendations. The recommendations relating to: Ministerial directions; reconsideration of a decision by an authorised person; certain extensions of time; forwarding of documents to an applicant and to the SART; and, legal representation before the SART, were all implemented in full.
One recommendation, on the jurisdiction of the AAT, was only partially implemented by the Act. The Council had recommended that review by the AAT should be with the leave of the President of the AAT - which should only be given if the matter involved an important principle of wide application. The Act provides for AAT review without the recommended restriction.
One recommendation was not implemented, being that the SART be given the power to review a refusal of an authorised person to allow further time for the lodging of a request for reconsideration by an authorised person.