ARC Adjudicating Rights for a Sustainable National Disability Insurance Scheme

About the Project

The Australian Government currently faces a significant dilemma about how to allocate limited resources in a way that ensures the rights and entitlements of all Australians. Scheme officials and personnel urgently require clarity and consistency to improve their decision-making. Citizens with a disability, particularly those without advocacy support, require assurances that their rights are safeguarded within the Scheme. By enhancing the visibility and transparency of decision-making processes and priorities, and promoting informed public discussion, this project will contribute to making the National Disability Insurance Scheme a fair and sustainable scheme, and an international exemplar.

This project will highlight the power and justice effects of the administration of the NDIS, including what principles and values serve as dominant justifications for reasonable and necessary support, areas of contestation with choice and control, and the discrepancies in how administrative justice is viewed. This study involves three phases over three years (2020-2023) and employs a multidisciplinary, translational design incorporating analysis of social, policy and legal frameworks, qualitative interviews, analysis of administrative data and qualitative case study methods to develop both a broad national understanding of dominant frames surrounding the administrative justice decisions and concepts of justice; and a more nuanced understanding of administrative justice as experienced by participants.

The findings will contribute to a better understanding of which participants the NDIS is failing and contribute to a critical debate about the values guiding funded support decisions and fairness outcomes.

This project is funded by a three year Australian Research Council Discovery Program Grant (DP2001100742).

 Click here to download Project Flyer


Policy Briefs

Policy Options: ARC Discovery Project: Adjudicating Rights in the NDIS

 Click here to download this policy brief.


NDIS Decision-Making Workshop

In order to foster critical dialogue with key stakeholders, the ARC Adjudicating Rights research team convened a one-day workshop in Brisbane with invited speakers and panel discussions (details below). The workshop was an opportunity to explore and discuss: 

1. The current state of decision-making in review and appeal processes for NDIS reasonable and necessary funded supports; and,

2. Key policy priorities and reform opportunities to ensure review and appeal decisions are administratively just, rights-based and deliver justice in both outcome and process.

The research team also circulated a policy options document based on four key findings from interview data.

Tile View a summary of the decision-making workshop here. 


NDIS Decision-Making Policy Forum

To foster critical dialogue with key policy stakeholders about the research evidence and policy implications, the research team convened a policy forum in Canberra. This was an opportunity to:

  • Exchange critical perspectives and knowledge on known tensions in NDIS review and AAT appeal processes and decisions on reasonable and necessary support, including where and how procedural fairness is working and failing.
  • Contribute to NDIS reforms by identifying policy priorities and options that will improve procedural fairness, administrative justice and rights entitlements in decision-making on reasonable and necessary supports.

Turquoise tile with link View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Turquoise tile with link View the Policy Forum summary here.

Project Outputs - Submissions

Click the below submissions to view:


View the launch of the ARC Discovery Project on 10th March 2021, on Deciding Fair NDIS Rights:

Project Team

Prof Michele Foster (CI), The Hopkins Centre
A/Prof Kylie Burns (CI), Griffith Law School
A/Prof Susan Harris Rimmer (CI), Griffith Law School
Dr Eloise Hummell (RF), The Hopkins Centre


Confereces and Presentations

International Conference on Public Policy, 2023.

Dr Eloise Hummell (The Hopkins Centre) and Prof Kylie Burns (Law School) attended the International Conference on Public Policy, 2023, in Toronto, Canada. They attended in-person to co-present two papers and co-chair a panel based on the ARC funded discovery project.

Professor Sue Harris Rimmer, also joined online to co-present two papers.

An image of a large sunflower standing up out of a field of purple flowers is centered on the right hand side of the page. The rest of the page is red with the title "The Consistency Dilema in Australia's Individualised Disability Policy" and the Author's names in white, bolded lettering.

A slide with a red background, including the Griffith University logo. The title “The Knowable and Unknowable: Policy Consequences of Australia’s Individualised Disability Funding Policy” and authors names are in bolded white lettering at the top and left sides of the slide. On the right side is an image of a body of water which has had a heavy object dropped into it, creating a ripple effect.

A slide with a red background, including the Griffith University logo. The title “Individualised Disabilty Support: How to Design Policy with Robust Mechanisms to Realise Human Rights” and authors names are in bolded white lettering at the top and left sides of the slide. On the right side is an image of the project flyer.


Australian Social Policy Conference (11-13 Sept 2023)

A slide with bright red background and the Griffith University logo on the left hand side. The title of the presentation “The NDIS challenge of implementing ambitious reform balancing human rights and administrative justice” is written in white, bolded letters across the top of the slide. Dr Eloise Hummel is underneath the title, with a busy image of silver planks balancing on shiny black spheres to the right. In between the spheres and planks in the image is a word cloud with words representing the project.





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