It has been noted that: ‘the law of England has swollen to an unmanageable bulk. There is but one cure and that is codification…’ 2 . That statement was made approximately 200 years ago, and the situation is by no means better today. Nor can it be said that the situation in Australia is much better than that in England. The volume of case law, particularly when combined with what seems like an endless flow of lengthy and complex statutes, place the Australian law in an unhealthy state. Just like a store or a warehouse periodically needs to take stock of its assets, the common law is now in desperate need of stocktake.