Your complaint review rights

On this page

  • Applying for a judicial review of our decision or determination
  • Making a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman

You have the right to seek a judicial review of our decision or determination about your complaint. You may want to seek legal advice however, as there may be fees and costs involved.

You can complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you think you’ve been unfairly treated by us. Making a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman is free.

Applying for a judicial review

You may apply to the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court for a review of our decision not to investigate or not to investigate further your complaint, if you think our decision is not legally correct under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

You may also apply to the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court if you think a determination we made, following our investigation of your complaint, is not legally correct under the Privacy Act. You may also apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a merit review of our determination.

You must apply to the court within 28 calendar days of us sending you our decision or determination. If we posted it to you, the 28 calendar days starts from the date we posted to you.

The court won’t review the merits of your complaint, but they may refer the matter back to us to reconsider — if they find our decision or determination was wrong in law or we didn’t exercise our powers properly.

For more information about a judicial review, visit the Federal Court of Australia’s website.

Lodging a complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman

You may lodge a complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman if you think we’ve treated you unfairly, because the Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate the administrative actions of an Australian Government agency. 

If the Commonwealth Ombudsman finds your complaint is justified, they can recommend we reconsider or change our actions or decision, or take any other action they think is appropriate.

For more information about making a complaint, visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website.

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