Access to Justice and the Evolution of Class Action Litigation in Australia

42 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2007

See all articles by Bernard Murphy

Bernard Murphy

Maurice Blackburn Cashman Lawyers

Camille Cameron

University of Melbourne - Law School

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Abstract

The federal and Victorian class action regimes are intended to facilitate aggregation of multiple claims. Aggregation can improve efficiency by combining similar claims and can enhance access to justice by providing a mechanism to litigate small claims. This article considers whether these efficiency and access aims are being achieved. The authors argue that whilst some developments in class action jurisprudence have been consistent with these legislative aims, other have not. Several features of Australian class action jurisprudence and practice have hampered the healthy development of the legislative regimes, including adverse costs orders, unclear threshold requirements, evasive posturing and unresolved class communication issues. Finally, having identified these difficulties, the authors propose reform possibilities and priorities.

Keywords: class action, litigation, Australia

JEL Classification: K10, K41

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Bernard and Cameron, Camille, Access to Justice and the Evolution of Class Action Litigation in Australia. Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2006, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 234, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=993652

Bernard Murphy

Maurice Blackburn Cashman Lawyers ( email )

Australia

Camille Cameron (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

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

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