New laws proposed by federal Attorney General, Michaelia Cash, will cripple the capacity of everyday Australians to take legal action against corporations and governments, says the peak body for class action law firms.
Class Actions Australia spokesperson and Maurice Blackburn’s National Head of Class Actions, Andrew Watson, said Ms Cash’s exposure draft bill ‘would severely limit the ability to get worthwhile class actions off the ground, by applying a cap on class action funders and banning common fund orders (CFOs)’.
Mr Watson said it was ‘preposterous for the government to claim the laws were being introduced to help everyday Australians participating in class actions’.
‘This isn’t reform, it’s sabotage’, Mr Watson said.
‘The Morrison Government wants class actions de-clawed and de-fanged so corporations can use their power and size to get away with hurting people.
‘Surely if you’re introducing a measure to benefit class action members you would have talked to them first? Michaelia Cash hasn’t met with people ripped off by insurance companies selling worthless products to the vulnerable. Or the women hurt by big pharma due to faulty pelvic mesh implants. Because she’s not looking after victims, she’s siding with wrongdoers.
‘The point of these law changes isn’t to make class actions better, it’s to throw so much sand in their gears they don’t get off the ground’.