- Civil Procedure (Representative Proceedings) Bill 2021 passes through Parliament
- Legislation was a recommendation of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia's 2015 final Representative Proceedings report
- New regime will enhance access to justice by introducing class actions for the first time in Western Australia
- New laws meet a McGowan Labor Government election commitment
Western Australians now have a robust and workable mechanism for bringing class actions, following the passage of new laws through State Parliament.
The Civil Procedure (Representative Proceedings) Bill introduces a legislative class actions scheme to WA.
Class actions serve an important role in providing access to justice by allowing people who have suffered a mass civil wrong to group their claims together and seek compensation.
The legislative class action procedure assists the plaintiff group and the defendant to resolve their dispute efficiently, thereby reducing the cost of the litigation for the parties and the court.
While a mechanism for bringing a class action to the Supreme Court exists, the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia found it to be outdated, inherently uncertain, and silent on many procedural aspects of representative proceedings.
The regime will give access to the courts to those in the community who have been effectively denied justice because of the cost of commencing a legal action.
A legislative class actions Federal scheme was first introduced nearly 30 years ago and has allowed those who have been wronged to gain access to justice.
The new WA scheme is modelled after the successful Federal scheme, which has been substantially implemented in other Australian jurisdictions.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"There are many in our community with the right, and very deserving case for compensation who are unable to access the courts, because they simply cannot afford to bring an action.
"Without a strong and sustainable mechanism for bringing class actions, countless individuals will not see justice and their losses will go uncompensated.
"A similar regime has been substantially adopted in Victoria in 2000, New South Wales in 2011, Queensland in 2017, and Tasmania in 2019, and has stood the test of time.
"This regime will not only enhance access to justice by reducing the cost of court proceedings to the individual and improve the individual's ability to access legal remedies, it will enable court resources to be used more efficiently."
Minister's office - 6552 6800