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Access to Justice, Class Action Litigation, Australia, Aggregation


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.