(cf s33C FCA)(1) Subject to this Part, where:(a) 7 or more persons have claims against the same person, and(b) the claims of all those persons are in respect of, or arise out of, the same, similar or related circumstances, and(c) the claims of all those persons give rise to a substantial common question of law or fact,proceedings may be commenced by one or more of those persons as representing some or all of them.(2) Representative proceedings may be commenced:(a) whether or not the relief sought:(i) is, or includes, equitable relief, or(ii) consists of, or includes, damages, or(iii) includes claims for damages that would require individual assessment, or(iv) is the same for each person represented, and(b) whether or not the proceedings:(i) are concerned with separate contracts or transactions between the defendant in the proceedings and individual group members, or(ii) involve separate acts or omissions of the defendant done or omitted to be done in relation to individual group members.
(cf s33D FCA)(1) For the purposes of section 157 (1) (a), a person has a sufficient interest to commence representative proceedings against another person on behalf of other persons if the person has standing to commence proceedings on the person’s own behalf against that other person.(2) The person may commence representative proceedings on behalf of other persons against more than one defendant irrespective of whether or not the person and each of those persons have a claim against every defendant in the proceedings.(3) If a person has commenced representative proceedings, that person retains standing:(a) to continue the proceedings, and(b) to bring an appeal from a judgment in the proceedings,even though the person ceases to have a claim against any defendant.
(cf s33E FCA)(1) Subject to subsection (2), the consent of a person to be a group member is not required.(2) None of the following is a group member in representative proceedings unless the person gives consent in writing to being so:(a) the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory,(b) a Minister of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory,(c) a body corporate established for a public purpose by a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, other than an incorporated company or association,(d) an officer of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, in his or her capacity as an officer.
(cf s33F FCA)(1) It is not necessary for a person under legal incapacity to have a tutor merely in order to be a group member.(2) A group member who is a person under legal incapacity may only take a step in representative proceedings, or conduct part of the proceedings, by the member’s tutor.
(cf s33H FCA)(1) The originating process in representative proceedings, or a document filed in support of the originating process, must, in addition to any other matters required to be included:(a) describe or otherwise identify the group members to whom the proceedings relate, and(b) specify the nature of the claims made on behalf of the group members and the relief claimed, and(c) specify the question of law or facts common to the claims of the group members.(2) In describing or otherwise identifying group members for the purposes of subsection (1), it is not necessary to name, or specify the number of, the group members.
(cf s33J FCA)(1) The Court must fix a date before which a group member may opt out of representative proceedings in the Court.(2) A group member may opt out of the representative proceedings by written notice given under the local rules before the date so fixed.(3) The Court may, on application by a group member, the representative party or the defendant in the proceedings, fix another date so as to extend the period during which a group member may opt out of the representative proceedings.(4) Except with the leave of the Court, the hearing of representative proceedings must not commence earlier than the date before which a group member may opt out of the proceedings.
(cf s33K FCA)(1) The Court may at any stage of representative proceedings, on application by the representative party, give leave to amend the originating process commencing the representative proceedings so as to alter the description of the group.(2) The description of the group may be altered so as to include a person:(a) whose cause of action accrued after the commencement of the representative proceedings but before such date as the Court fixes when giving leave, and(b) who would have been included in the group, or, with the consent of the person would have been included in the group, if the cause of action had accrued before the commencement of the proceedings.(3) The date fixed under subsection (2) (a) may be the date on which leave is given or another date before or after that date.(4) If the Court gives leave under subsection (1), it may also make any other orders it thinks just, including an order relating to the giving of notice to persons who, as a result of the amendment, will be included in the group and the date before which such persons may opt out of the proceedings.
(cf s33L FCA)If, at any stage of representative proceedings, it appears likely to the Court that there are fewer than 7 group members, the Court may, on such conditions (if any) as it thinks fit:(a) order that the proceedings continue under this Part, or(b) order that the proceedings no longer continue under this Part.
(cf s33M FCA)If:(a) the relief claimed in representative proceedings is or includes payment of money to group members (otherwise than in respect of costs), and(b) on application by the defendant, the Court concludes that it is likely that, if judgment were to be given in favour of the representative party, the cost to the defendant of identifying the group members and distributing to them the amounts ordered to be paid to them would be excessive having regard to the likely total of those amounts,the Court may, by order:(c) direct that the proceedings no longer continue under this Part, or(d) stay the proceedings so far as it relates to relief of the kind mentioned in paragraph (a).
(cf s33N FCA)(1) The Court may, on application by the defendant or of its own motion, order that proceedings no longer continue under this Part if it is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so because:(a) the costs that would be incurred if the proceedings were to continue as representative proceedings are likely to exceed the costs that would be incurred if each group member conducted a separate proceeding, or(b) all the relief sought can be obtained by means of proceedings other than representative proceedings under this Part, or(c) the representative proceedings will not provide an efficient and effective means of dealing with the claims of group members, or(d) a representative party is not able to adequately represent the interests of the group members, or(e) it is otherwise inappropriate that the claims be pursued by means of representative proceedings.(2) It is not, for the purposes of subsection (1) (e), inappropriate for claims to be pursued by means of representative proceedings merely because the persons identified as group members in relation to the proceedings:(a) do not include all persons on whose behalf those proceedings might have been brought, or(b) are aggregated together for a particular purpose such as a litigation funding arrangement.(3) If the Court dismisses an application under this section, the Court may order that no further application under this section be made by the defendant except with the leave of the Court.(4) Leave for the purposes of subsection (3) may be granted subject to such conditions as to costs as the Court considers just.
(cf s33P FCA)(1) If the Court makes an order under section 164, 165 or 166 that proceedings no longer continue under this Part:(a) the proceedings may be continued as proceedings by the representative party on the party’s own behalf against the defendant, and(b) on the application of a person who was a group member for the purposes of the proceedings, the Court may order that the person be joined as an applicant in the proceedings.(2) In this section:
applicant, in relation to proceedings, includes a claimant or plaintiff (as the case may be) in the proceedings.
(cf s33Q FCA)(1) If it appears to the Court that determination of the question or questions common to all group members will not finally determine the claims of all group members, the Court may give directions in relation to the determination of the remaining questions.(2) In the case of questions common to the claims of some only of the group members, the directions given by the Court may include directions establishing a sub-group consisting of those group members and appointing a person to be the sub-group representative party on behalf of the sub-group members.
(cf s33R FCA)(1) In giving directions under section 168, the Court may permit an individual group member to appear in the proceedings for the purpose of determining a question that relates only to the claims of that member.(2) In such a case, the individual group member, and not the representative party, is liable for costs associated with the determination of the question.
(cf s33S FCA)If a question cannot properly or conveniently be dealt with by the Court under section 168 or 169, the Court may give directions for the commencement and conduct of other proceedings, whether or not group proceedings.
(cf s33T FCA)(1) If, on application by a group member, it appears to the Court that a representative party is not able adequately to represent the interests of the group members, the Court may substitute another group member as representative party and make such other orders as it thinks fit.(2) If, on application by a sub-group member, it appears to the Court that a sub-group representative party is not able adequately to represent the interests of the sub-group members, the Court may substitute another person as sub-group representative party and may make such other orders as it thinks fit.
(cf s33U FCA)If a defendant in representative proceedings commences proceedings in the Court against a group member, the Court may order a stay of execution in respect of any relief awarded to the group member in the representative proceedings until the other proceedings are determined.
(cf s33V FCA)(1) Representative proceedings may not be settled or discontinued without the approval of the Court.(2) If the Court gives such approval, it may make such orders as are just with respect to the distribution of any money, including interest, paid under a settlement or paid into the Court.
(cf s33W FCA)(1) A representative party may, with the leave of the Court, settle the party’s individual claim in whole or in part at any stage of the representative proceedings.(2) A representative party who is seeking leave to settle, or who has settled, the party’s individual claim may, with the leave of the Court, withdraw as representative party.(3) If a person has sought leave to withdraw as representative party under subsection (2), the Court may, on application by a group member, make an order for the substitution of another group member as representative party and may make such other orders as it thinks fit.(4) Before granting a person leave to withdraw as a representative party:(a) the Court must be satisfied that notice of the application has been given to group members in accordance with section 175 (1) and in sufficient time for them to apply to have another person substituted as the representative party, and(b) any application for the substitution of another group member as a representative party must have been determined.