Australia is presently seeking to streamline its civil justice system. It is popular folklore that the Australian civil justice system is inaccessible to ’ordinary people’ as it is expensive, slow and complex. The reasons for these alleged failings are attributed to various causes, such as arcane and inefficient judicial practices, money-hungry lawyers or, more fundamentally, to the very underpinnings of civil litigation - adversarialism. This volume confronts this folklore.
It provides perspectives about civil justice from its major user and funding source (government) and the group of Australians who have used it the least and feel most alienated from the system (indigenous Australians). It explores the insights of those who work with adversarialism day in and day out (judges and lawyers) and reveals both defenders and strident advocates for change. Finally, it steps back and gives an outsider’s view of Australian adversarialism from those with knowledge of a sister system in the United States.
Table of Contents
Helen Stacy and Michael Lavarch
Part 1: The Dimensions of Change
Changing Roles and Skills for Courts, Tribunals and Practitioners
Fighting the Fiends From Finance
Civil Litigation: An Indigenous Perspective
Part 2: What Changes are Possible?
Reforming the Civil Justice System: The Case for a Considered Approach
Justice Ronald Sackville
Opportunities and Limitations for Change in the Australian Adversary System
Justice David Ipp
Judicial Time Limits and the Adversarial System
Part 3: Issues of Justice and Ethics
Fairness in a Predominantly Adversarial System
Justice Geoffrey Davies
Dining at the Ritz: Visions of Justice for the Individual In the Changing Adversarial System
Twenty Theses on Adversarial Ethics