When non-Australians learn about the features of Australia’s class-action regime, they are usually surprised by its plaintiff-friendly nature, which has made Australia the most common jurisdiction outside of North America for a corporation to face a class action. The encouragement of class-action litigation by the legislature and the courts alike continues, with no sign of abating. There are two recent developments that are worth noting.
First, in March 2011, a class-action procedure commenced in the Australian state of New South Wales. While based upon the existing federal class-action procedure, it is not identical, and it is perhaps even more plaintiff-friendly. This new procedure will allow a broader range of claims to be brought as class actions in Australia, and it will put New South Wales on the class-actions radar.