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Civil Justice in CrisisComparative Perspectives of Civil Procedure$
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Adrian Zuckerman

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198298335

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198298335.001.0001

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Civil Justice Reform in Australia

Civil Justice Reform in Australia

Chapter:
(p.166) 5 Civil Justice Reform in Australia
Source:
Civil Justice in Crisis
Author(s):

G. L. Davies

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198298335.003.0005

The present system of dispute resolution in Australia cannot cope with the increase in the number and classes of litigants and in the complexity of litigation. The system is too labour intensive for that. And because it is too labour intensive it is too costly; in most cases in the system the costs of those that go to trial are disproportionate to the amount or value in dispute and, for the losing party of average means, they may be ruinous. Reducing the cost of dispute resolution must therefore be the primary objective of civil justice reform. This chapter discusses the main defects in the existing civil justice system and how they are being or should be remedied. It begins by describing the existing system and its history. It is argued that the starting point of civil justice reform in Australia must be the acceptance by lawyers and judges of a new concept of just dispute resolution; one which involves greater frankness between disputants, which is less adversarial, and which accepts that costs, the rights of others, and the public interest are relevant considerations. It is only if this is accepted that a system will evolve which resolves disputes without undue delay, at a reasonable cost, and with little or no diminution in the quality of result.

Keywords:   civil procedure, civil litigation, dispute resolution, procedural reform, civil justice system

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