A History of Company Law in Colonial Australia: Legal Evolution and Economic Development

32 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2007 Last revised: 10 Nov 2016

Date Written: August 1, 2007


The history of Australian company law has attracted remarkably little attention in academic literature, perhaps because it has been mainly seen as a copy of English law with few if any important features worthy of note. This paper seeks to point out several interesting and significant aspects of the evolution of Australian company law and to consider this evolution in the context of the economic development of colonial Australia. Australian company law represents an example of the transplant of English law. This raises the question whether this transplant of law was successful. The central contention of this paper is that the evolution of company law in colonial Australia was innovative and responsive to the economic needs of the society and in particular, it was instrumental in financing the development of the mining industry which played an important role in the economic success of colonial Australia.

Keywords: Company Law, Colonial Australia, Australian company law, English law

Suggested Citation

Lipton, Phillip, A History of Company Law in Colonial Australia: Legal Evolution and Economic Development (August 1, 2007). Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2007, Monash U. Department of Business Law & Taxation Research Paper No. 11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1030196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1030196

Phillip Lipton (Contact Author)

Monash University, Australia ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084

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