A Better Complaint Handling System for Tribunals

Pamela O’Connor (Adjunct Professor, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University, Melbourne)2023



The AIJA and the Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT) identified a need for a better practice guide to assist Australasian tribunals to design, review and improve their complaint handling systems. To address this need, we jointly commissioned Pamela O’Connor (Adjunct Professor, Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University) to develop this guide under the supervision of a joint advisory committee. The committee was generously assisted by tribunals that collated and provided their complaint handling policy and procedure documents, and by representatives who provided broader input to the research.

As expressed in the guide’s foreword, “Complaints are sometimes viewed in a negative light because they express users’ dissatisfaction with their experience. Wise organisations welcome complaints as an opportunity to improve what they do. Complaint handling is a service and should be performed excellently.”

The guide identifies examples of better practice and seeks to inform the choices tribunals make in designing, operating and reviewing their complaint handling systems.

Click on the report to download: