Neither Simple nor Fair - Restricting Legal Representation before Fair Work Australia

Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 22, pp. 51-72, 2009

5 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013

See all articles by Mark Mourell

Mark Mourell

Griffith University

Craig Cameron

Griffith University

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Fair Work Australia is the Commonwealth Government’s proposed ‘one-stop shop’ for employment relations matters. An important feature of FWA is its unfair dismissal jurisdiction, which is supposedly designed to deliver a simpler, faster and less costly process by restricting legal representation of parties before FWA and instituting a mixed ‘inquisitorial-adversarial’ model of dispute resolution. This study examines whether restricting legal representation achieves the primary goal of Labor’s substantive workplace relations reforms - fairness by reference to three key elements: legal truth, cost and efficiency. Following this examination, the article finds that imposing further restrictions on legal representation undermines fairness because it creates an imbalance between costs, legal truth and efficiency. The article recommends that, subject to minor amendments aimed at improving the unfair dismissal process, the present statutory treatment of legal representation should remain.

Keywords: Fair Work Australia, fairness, unfair dismissal, legal representation

JEL Classification: K10, K31, K39

Suggested Citation

Mourell, Mark and Cameron, Craig, Neither Simple nor Fair - Restricting Legal Representation before Fair Work Australia (2009). Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 22, pp. 51-72, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2254533

Mark Mourell

Griffith University

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

Craig Cameron (Contact Author)

Griffith University ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4111
Australia
55587623 (Phone)

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