Our process

How we handle dispute resolution, from beginning to end.

Our process

We use the following general process when resolving disputes.



  • You lodge a complete application and pay the application fee.
  • If your sport has not yet recognised the NST in its rules, you also lodge an Agreement to bring a dispute to the NST.
  • We check the application is valid.
  • We allocate the case to the right division.
  • We notify parties to the dispute.

Assess and appoint NST Member

  • We organise a Preliminary Conference to determine issues, cost and timing.
  • Our CEO selects Tribunal Member(s) to hear the matter.
  • We notify parties about the NST Member(s) selected and form the tribunal.
  • Parties pay any additional NST service fees (where required).


  • Parties submit their evidence and make submissions.
  • We share all the relevant paperwork and schedule a hearing (where required).
  • NST conducts a hearing or considers the papers.
  • NST decides the outcome (arbitration), or parties reach an agreement (mediation, conciliation, case appraisal).


  • We send the decision to the parties.
  • We publish the decision (where appropriate).
  • You give feedback on the process.
  • We refine our process.

The details of the process for resolving your dispute can vary a little depending on which dispute resolution option you choose. 

Preliminary Conference

After we receive a valid application, we will organise a Preliminary Conference with all involved parties. This will usually be a teleconference, conducted by our CEO or Deputy CEO.

Parties need to be prepared to:

  • talk about the issues in dispute
  • state who they want to call as witnesses and documents on which they will rely
  • indicate what expert evidence they will be presenting, if any
  • identify any individual or organisation they want the NST to issue with a notice to appear as a witness, or a notice to produce documents or things.

At the Preliminary Conference we will discuss:

  • how many days the matter might take and likely timeframes
  • how many tribunal members the parties wish to hear the matter
  • total cost of proceedings.

Read more about Preliminary Conferences

Allocating NST Members

For arbitrations in the Anti-Doping Division and General Division, there will usually be 1 NST Member, but there may be 3 or more depending on the complexity of the dispute.

For arbitrations in the Appeals Division, there will usually be 3 NST Members, but there may be more, or there may be only 1, depending on the complexity of the dispute and the way that the appeal is dealt with.

Mediations, conciliations and case appraisals will be conducted by a single NST Member.

We use the information we collect at the Preliminary Conference to assess suitable NST Members to hear a matter. We assess NST Members' suitability based on:

  • their relevant experience and skills
  • the location of the parties
  • any conflict of interest
  • their availability.

Usually, we will talk to the parties regarding a Member or a short list of Members that have been assessed as suitable for dealing with the matter. Our CEO makes the final decision to allocate an NST Member to a matter.

For more information, see Allocating Members to a Dispute.

Issuing notices

We can issue notices to people or organisations requiring them to either:

  • appear at a hearing to give evidence as a witness
  • produce relevant documents or things to us.

The parties need to apply to us for a notice to be issued to a person or organisation. Send the Application for the NST to issue a notice form to the NST registry at submissions@nationalsportstribunal.gov.au. Registry staff will provide it to the NST Member to consider.

To issue a notice, the NST Member will need to be satisfied that:

  • the person or organisation has the documents or things that you claim, or is able to give the evidence that you claim as a witness, and
  • that the documents or things, or the witness evidence is relevant to resolving the dispute.

It is a criminal offence not to comply with an NST notice.


We discuss the hearing date and venue at the Preliminary Conference. 

We aim to choose a hearing venue that best suits the parties and the NST Member, and keeps our costs low. Where necessary, teleconference and video conference facilities are available as well.

The NST Registry Case Manager will also attend the hearing.

Publishing decisions

For anti-doping matters, we publish all determinations unless:

  • the party committing the violation is under the age of 18 or legally incapacitated, or
  • the tribunal decided no violation had occurred.

For other matters, we will publish a summary of every determination. The summary does not identify the parties involved.

The CEO may also publish a full determination (with any necessary redactions) if:

  • the parties agree
  • the case provides valuable material that is useful for future disputes.