Class actions are one of the most controversial forms of litigation, being both loved and loathed. Class actions were introduced into Australia by Part IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) which commenced on 4 March 1992. This book uses the 30th anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on the major themes and controversies that have arisen during its operation.
The text examines the initial objectives for the procedure, such as access to justice and the efficient resolution of multiple claims. It also focuses on how the core requirements of the justice system, namely procedural fairness, open justice and finality, apply in the class action context. The text then explores the role of lawyers and litigation funders as necessary contributors of expertise and financing. Lastly, the text examines the class action through a number of theoretical lenses, such as law and economics, comparative law and politics.
The book features chapters from leading Australian and international academics and Australian jurists, including Emeritus Professor Peta Spender, Professor Rachel Mulheron, Justice Jayne Jagot, Justice Bernard Murphy and Justice Michael Lee.
‘All who have to participate in or think about the conduct of such cases now and in the future (whether as practitioner, scholar, student or the legislature) will benefit from this collection of essays.’
The Hon Michelle Gordon AC
Justice of the High Court of Australia