The sun shines on class actions in Queensland
On 5 August 2016, the Queensland government announced its intention to introduce a class action regime. This is the first time class actions will be heard in Queensland courts.
Previously, Queensland plaintiffs wanting to commence group proceedings have been required to pursue their claims in other jurisdictions. Notable recent examples include the Queensland floods and the Bank of Queensland class actions which were both commenced in the NSW Supreme Court.
The new class action regime in Queensland is likely to closely mirror the schemes that are already in place in NSW, Victoria and the Federal Court of Australia.
Federal Court Practice Note to be released shortly
The Federal Court of Australia has recently concluded its public consultation for an updated Class Actions Practice Note. We have previously reported on the Court’s decision not to include a specific class actions area under the ‘National Practice Areas’ (NPA) structure (see here).
The structure means that class actions will continue to be divided according to their subject matter. For example, a securities class action would be allocated to the ‘Commercial and Corporations NPA’, and be case managed pursuant to the Class Actions Practice Note. It is worth noting that the majority of class actions in Australia are commenced and managed in the NSW Registry of the Federal Court of Australia.
The Court’s updated Practice Note is expected to be released this month.