In response to a recent call for claimants and respondents to disclose expected budgets at the outset of class action proceedings in Australia, Craig Arnott tells The Australian that there is no need for such a rule.
“That is an example of a problem where you should not be overly prescriptive… At the moment the courts can manage costs. They can bring everyone together… the English courts do this with a costs management conference. It doesn’t prescribe that you must share budgets at certain points; that doesn’t work because it all changes at different points in proceedings. This is the trouble when you are dealing with lawyers — smart lawyers will play with any rule you prescribe, so then it just becomes a game and actually it increases costs. Then you have debates about whether the rules have been observed or not… Under the Federal Court Act and the Supreme Court legislation, the courts have enormous case management powers so they can already do that.”
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