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Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders (DP 85)

The submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders Discussion Paper was prepared by the Law Council of Australia. 

The Law Council is grateful to the following committees and constituent bodies for their assistance with the preparation of this submission: Class Actions Committee of the Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section; Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section; the Victorian Bar; the New South Wales Bar Association; the Law Society of South Australia; the Law Society of Western Australia; and the Law Firms Australia.

Following the introduction of the federal class actions regime in Australia in 1992 (followed by the introduction of several state regimes), class actions have been established as an effective, reliable, and in some circumstances, essential, procedure to deal with multiple claims. The number of class actions has grown steadily throughout this time and has been accompanied by the establishment and growth of the litigation funding market.

Australia’s continuous disclosure laws and the prohibition on misleading and deceptive conduct aim to protect market integrity and investors. The Law Council supports the proposal to establish a review to ensure that these laws optimally achieve their objectives.

The Law Council recognises that litigation funding can promote access to justice, spread the risk of complex litigation and improve the efficiency of litigation by introducing commercial considerations that will aim to reduce costs. However, the Law Council supports the introduction of a comprehensive licensing regime for litigation funders to protect users of third party litigation funding and maintain the integrity of the legal system. Options for licencing are discussed below.

You can read the full submission below.

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