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ACCC applauds new Court system

ACCC applauds new Court system

The nation's consumer watchdog has applauded last week's confirmed roll-out of the Federal Court's new fast-track case management system.

THE nation’s consumer watchdog has applauded last week’s confirmed roll-out of the Federal Court’s new fast-track case management system. 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel applauded the new system, which it has used in Victoria ahead of the national implementation.

“We’ve probably used the fast track more than any other organisation since it’s been in place. 

“A substantial number of fast track cases that have gone through in Victoria have been those ensued by the ACCC. We’ve found it an absolutely invaluable step forward by the Federal Court,” he said. 

A recent matter involving proceedings for misleading and deceptive conduct included three months to do the investigation, Samuel said, and then after proceedings were instituted a further 25 months before the judgments came out.

“When the judgments came out, the judge said that so much time had transpired since the offence took place that a number of the remedies the ACCC was seeking were no longer relevant. ‘So we are no longer going to give them to you.’ The fast-track has changed that entirely,” he said. 

Spouting the merits of the fast-track system, Samuel said fast-tracking has its own self-disciplinary mechanism built into the practice notes by the Federal Court, penalising those whose timelines slip. “So I think it’s a remarkable innovation and initiative by the Federal Court,” he said. 

His comments come after The New Lawyer reported last week that lawyers and judges are behind the new system. See the full story here.


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