Open Justice and the Tribunal (NCAT)
Published on 25/02/2021
The Tenants' Union NSW recently provided a short submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission's Open Justice Review. We focused on two specific issues - the importance of publishing reasons for decisions in tenancy law matters, and the need to make available more statistical data about tenancy law matters heard by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
Presently only a very small fraction of decisions made at NCAT on tenancy matters have the written reasons published and made available on the NSW case law website. Publishing decisions with reasons helps to ensure greater transparency and accountability of Tribunal members and their decision making in relation to individual matters. It also builds public confidence in the consistency and fairness of Tribunal proceedings.
Similarly we have also seen a marked decrease in statistical data shared about tenancy matters heard at NCAT since it was established. Limited access to data hampers analysis and debate in areas from homelessness prevention, social housing policy, the effectiveness of current tenancy law (and the need for law reform), and funding for tenant support services.
We recommended NCAT increase the number of decisions with reasons being published, and the quantity, range and regularity of the statistical data it currently shares about tenancy matters heard at NCAT.