The Origins and Evolution of the Statutory Duties of Trade Union Officers

Australian Business Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 23-39, 2019

21 Pages Posted: 20 May 2019

See all articles by Ian Ramsay

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Miranda Webster

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: December 17, 2018

Abstract

In Australia, statutory duties are imposed on trade union officers in several jurisdictions. In the 1990s, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia introduced duties for officers of employee and employer organisations registered under industrial relations legislation. In 2002, the Federal Government introduced officers’ duties for federally-registered organisations. These federal and state duties have been modelled on the directors’ duties that are found in corporations legislation. This article examines the origins and evolution of these duties at the New South Wales and federal level and also considers the debates regarding the appropriateness of applying corporate law duties to trade union officers. The article shows how the introduction and development of the duties imposed on trade union officers, and the penalties for contravening them, have been politically contentious — much more so than the development of the duties imposed on company directors.

Keywords: trade unions; trade union officers; directors' duties

Suggested Citation

Ramsay, Ian and Webster, Miranda, The Origins and Evolution of the Statutory Duties of Trade Union Officers (December 17, 2018). Australian Business Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 23-39, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3375790

Ian Ramsay (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

Miranda Webster

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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