Date of this Version

2009

Document Type

Journal Article

Abstract

A class action, also known in Australia as ‘representative proceedings’ or a ‘representative action’, ‘provides a means by which, where a large group of persons are interested in a matter, one or more may sue or be sued as representatives of the class without needing to join every member of the class.’ Class actions usually entail an aggregation of claims arising out of common circumstances, based on a common legal theory or theories, asserted by numerous plaintiffs against one or more defendants in a single action. In other words, instead of hundreds or potentially thousands of plaintiffs bringing separate claims against a defendant for a similar wrong (or perhaps not bringing claims, if the individual loss to each plaintiff is too small to merit the bother and expense of filing suit), in a class action those claims are all brought in a single suit.

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This document has been peer reviewed.