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Australian Civil Procedure : 12th edition - Bernard Cairns

Australian Civil Procedure

12th edition

By: Bernard Cairns

Paperback | 25 November 2019 | Edition Number 12

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This edition of Australian Civil Procedure continues the approach of previous editions in examining the fundamental principles of Australian civil justice system.

Procedural law is more than a set of isolated mechanical procedures. Civil procedure and its associated processes are the means of delivering the rights and remedies that the substantive law mandates. The court must, however, exercise its procedural powers to further the civil justice overarching objective, that is, it must conduct civil litigation to achieve a just result but through efficient and cost-effective processes. All Australian jurisdictions embrace a civil justice overarching objective and have accompanying rules of court and practice directions to guide the court and the parties in conducting a civil case. Apart from statutory enactments, the primary sources of Australian procedural law are rules of court and, with increasing importance, court practice directions.

The powers the rules and practice directions create and the functions they confer are mostly, but not completely, discretionary. Those discretions are exercisable in the context of, and for the purpose of for which they were created.

This edition continues the approach of previous editions in examining the fundamental principles of law that develop from the manner in which the court exercises its procedural powers. As with previous editions, this edition examines the broad principles or guidelines that have emerged to guide the court in exercising its powers under the rules of court and practice directions. This edition examines the basic principles of the procedural law as whole rather than simply describing mechanical procedures.

Significant developments have occurred since the publication of the previous edition and are included in the present edition. They include:

  • a separate chapter on class actions;
  • the reach and importance of practice directions;
  • procedural innovations in the Federal Court, including the impact of significant practice notes;
  • the continuing impact of the civil justice overarching objective on managing civil litigation;
  • summary judgment and dismissal for want of prosecution, updated in light of the civil justice overarching objective of justice and efficiency;
  • Federal and State jurisdiction; pleadings, including using a concise note in commercial proceedings in the Federal Court;
  • amending pleadings outside a limitation period; claims of privilege;
  • disclosure of documents and interrogatories, including legal professional privilege;
  • infants and legally disabled persons compromises; suppression and non-publication orders in civil litigation;
  • proceedings at trial including procedural fairness, judicial independence and impartiality and apprehended bias.

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