The push to reform class action procedure in Australia: Evolution or revolution?

Stuart Clarke*, Christina Harrisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Class actions were introduced in Australia over 15 years ago and, despite their initially slow uptake, are now well entrenched. In many respects, Australian class action procedure is more 'plaintiff-friendly' than its United States counterpart, such that Australia has become the next most likely place after North America where a corporation will find itself defending a class action. However, it has been suggested by commentators that current Australian practice and procedure are hampering the healthy development of class actions, as well as limiting their use, and should thus be reformed. The authors believe that many of the proposed changes run counter to the legislative aims of class action procedure and would remove the remaining safeguards that presently operate to limit the prosecution of claims inappropriately brought in the form of a class action. This article provides a detailed analysis of the most significant proposals for change and why many of them should be rejected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-821
Number of pages47
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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