What is VCAT?

Last updated: 31 Mar 2022


What is the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal?

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) was established to provide Victorians with access to ‘a civil justice system that is modern, accessible, efficient and cost effective’.

VCAT can hear many different types of disputes relating to matters such as:

  • discrimination;
  • guardianship and administration;
  • disability services;
  • residential tenancies; and
  • consumer credit.

VCAT hears these different disputes under its specialist ‘lists’.  Residential tenancy disputes are heard under the Residential Tenancies List.

VCAT is located at 55 King Street, Melbourne.  VCAT also conducts hearings in metropolitan and country locations at the local Magistrates’ Courts (i.e. Ringwood Magistrates’ Court) and hearings by phone and video link.  VCAT’s office is open between 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.  For further information, go to www.vcat.vic.gov.au.

What law governs VCAT?

There are a number of significant pieces of legislation, regulations and practice notes which may affect the operation of VCAT which include:

  1. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) (VCAT Act). The VCAT Act includes important provisions about the jurisdiction and operation of the Tribunal.

2. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2018 (Vic) (VCAT Rules).

3. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Fees) Regulations 2016 (Vic);

4. VCAT practice notes: these can be either of general application (ie the fair hearing practice note) or relate to the specific list of VCAT (ie the adjournment practice note). See the practice notes.

5. ‘Enabling legislation’ which establishes the functions of VCAT in respect of its specific lists (ie the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) applies to the Residential Tenancies List)

6. Regulations which apply to enabling legislation

7. Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)

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