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NCJ Number: 68767 Find in a Library
Title: ACCESS TO THE COURTS - 1 STANDING - PUBLIC INTEREST SUITS
Corporate Author: Law Reform Cmssn of Australia
Australia
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Law Reform Cmssn of Australia
Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: AN EVALUATION BY THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF AUSTRALIA REGARDING ACCESS TO THE COURTS FOR PURSUIT OF PUBLIC INTEREST MATTERS UNDER CURRENT LAW IS PRESENTED; COMMISSION CONCLUSIONS ARE HIGHLIGHTED.
Abstract: ACCESS TO THE COURT CONSISTS OF CITIZENS' ABILITY TO INVOKE THE MACHINERY OF JUSTICE TO FORCE SOME PERSON OR INSTRUMENTALITY TO OBEY THE LAW OR TO CARRY OUT A DUTY. EVERYONE HAS ACCESS ON HIS OWN BEHALF WHERE SOME PRIVATE INTEREST IS INVOLVED. HOWEVER, WHERE PUBLIC INTERESTS ARE INVOLVED, ACCESS IS MUCH MORE RESTRICTED. THE ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN TRADITION IMPOSES 'STANDING' RULES ON PLAINTIFFS, AND ONLY THOSE WITH THE REQUISITE STANDING ARE ABLE TO OBTAIN RELIEF. RECENTLY THERE HAS BEEN INCREASING CONCERN REGARDING THE EXTENT OF THE RESTRICTIONS. AUSTRALIA HAS NO CLASS ACTION LAW AT PRESENT. THE PROPOSED WIDENING OF STANDING RULES MAY ASSIST CONSUMERS IN ATTAINING RELEVANT INJUNCTIVE OR DECLARATORY RELIEF, BUT IT WILL NOT ASSIST IN RECOVERING LOSSES INFLICTED BY ILLEGAL TRADING PRACTICES OR EFFECTIVELY THREATEN THE OFFENDER ECONOMICALLY. THE MAJOR REASON FOR LIMITING STANDING RIGHTS IS FEAR OF A DRASTIC INCREASE OF ACTIONS BROUGHT FOR UNJUST CAUSE, WHICH WILL UNDULY EXTEND THE COURT'S RESOURCES. IF THE EXISTING STANDING RULES CONCERNING CIVIL LITIGATION PUBLIC INTEREST MATTERS ARE LIBERALIZED, THREE POSSIBILITIES ARISE: (1) AN 'OPEN DOOR' POLICY OF ALLOWING ANY PERSON TO TAKE PROCEEDINGS IN THE PUBLIC LAW ARENA; (2) ALLOWING THE COURTS TO SCREEN PLAINTIFFS AS PART OF THE DETERMINATION OF A CASE, ADAPTING STANDING REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES; AND (3) PROVIDING PRELIMINARY SCREENING, WHEREBY STANDING IS DETERMINED IN ADVANCE OF THE SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Australia; Class action lawsuits; Commission reports; Court reform; Lawsuits
Note: DISCUSSION PAPER NO 4
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68767

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