High Court restricts NCAT’s powers – Burns v Corbett
In Burns v Corbett  HCA 15 the High Court unanimously held that NCAT does not have jurisdiction to hear matters between residents of different states, otherwise known as ‘diversity jurisdiction’ (see section 75 (iv) of the Constitution. In upholding the Court of Appeal decision the High Court determined that parts of the NCAT Act were invalid where they purported to confer jurisdiction upon NCAT for matters between interstate residents.
Further, under the Constitution, State Parliaments do not have the power to confer diversity jurisdiction on an administrative agency or tribunal which is not a “court of the State.”
Following the Court of Appeal decision NSW amended the NCAT Act in December 2017 to allow diversity jurisdiction matters to be referred to a court by NCAT.
This means that building cases under $500,000 involving interstate residents will have to be determined by the Local or District Courts.
More information in our July Newsletter »
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Clare Peacock is an experienced construction lawyer working on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Clare provides practical, cost-effective building approval advice to property owners, builders and strata managers. Services include residential building disputes, body corporate issues and strata building problems.