- make a declaration about a matter
- give directions to the parties, or
- give advice to the parties [Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) ss 48(1)(b), 48(3)].
It is an offence not to comply with a direction of SACAT in relation to s 48 [s 50].
SACAT may also review a declaration made by the Public Advocate [s 48(1)(a)].
SACAT may refuse to hear a matter because [s 48(2)]:
- the matter lacks substance, is unnecessary or unjustifiable, or is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith; or
- to conduct a review would be an abuse of the processes under the Act; or
- the matter should be determined by way of legal proceedings.
If SACAT is of the opinion that it is more appropriate that a particular application be dealt with by the Public Advocate, SACAT may refer the matter to the Public Advocate [s 49(1)].
Notice of proceedings
The Tribunal must give reasonable notice of the time and place of proceedings before the Tribunal to the applicant; the person to whom the proceedings relate; the Public Advocate; such other persons as the Tribunal considers have a proper interest in the matter [s 54(1)].
In the case of an urgent request for revocation of an advance care directive, the Tribunal may make a decision without giving notice of the proceedings. However, the decision may only have effect for up to 14 days [s 54(2)].
In any other urgent type of matter, the Tribunal may make an order that has effect for 21 days [s 54(2)].
Representation before SACAT
In addition to being able to appear personally or by counsel [s 56 South Australian Civil and Tribunal Act 2013], a person may be represented by the Public Advocate or, except in the case of an internal review, by a recognised advocate [s 54B].
Reasons for decisions
Written reasons for decisions of the Tribunal must be given to a person who has a right to seek an internal review, if the person requests the reasons. The request for reasons must be made before the time limit for seeking the review, or, if the application for review has already been made, before the review is decided. [s 54A]
Written reasons must also be given on request by a person who satisfies the Tribunal they have a proper interest in the matter [s 54A].
Appealing a SACAT decision
An internal review of a decision of the Tribunal may be sought by the original applicant; a person to whom the proceedings relate; the Public Advocate; any person who presented evidence or material before, or made submissions to, the Tribunal in the relevant proceedings; or any other person who satisfies the Tribunal that they have a proper interest in the matter.
With the leave of the Supreme Court, a further appeal may be made to the Supreme Court.
Former Guardianship Board matters
Any matters commenced in the Guardianship Board before 30 March 2015 will be transferred to SACAT.
If prior to 30 March 2015 a right to make an application or referral, or to seek a review to the Guardianship Board existed, then from 30 March 2015, the matter will be heard before SACAT.
If prior to 30 March 2015 a right of appeal from the Guardianship Board to the District Court existed, then the appeal may still be made to the District Court.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.