Uniform Civil Procedure (Representative Proceedings) Amendment Rule 2017
Commercial class actions now have more procedural clarity thanks to new amendments to the UCPR.
In line with recent amendments contained in the Limitations of Actions (Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016, the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (UCPR) have also been amended. The amendments to the UCPR provide clarification for consent, opting out and application requirements for representative proceedings.
A representative proceeding, commonly referred to as a class action, is defined under s 103A of the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 (Qld) (the Act) as a proceeding started under s 103B. In order to fall within this definition, there must be:
- Seven or more persons who have claims against the same person;
- The claims of all persons are in respect of the same, similar or related circumstances; and
- The claims of all persons give rise to a substantial common issue of law or fact.
The new rules cover:
- Requirements for giving consent to be a group member, if so needed (i.e. the Commonwealth or a State and their ministers, or a bodies corporate established for public purposes)
- Requirements for giving notice to opt out of representative proceedings, and the relevant implications for the representative party
- Requirements for particular applications in representative proceedings
Two of the key changes are explained below:
First, in circumstances where one or more group members opt out, a representative party for a representative proceedings will receive an ‘opt out’ notice from such group members. Once this notice is received, the representative party is to give to each other party of the proceeding a list of the opt-out group members.
This must be done within 14 days following the date set by the court to opt out of proceedings pursuant to s 103G of the Act.
Secondly, for applications for an order under ss 103H, 103S, 103T, and 103W of the Act, that application must be in the approved form and now also include an affidavit stating the identity, whereabouts, and the way that is most likely to bring notice of a matter to the attention of the group members.
To read the full amendments, follow this link – https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/SLS/2017/17SL018.pdf
The Supreme Court has also published a practice direction, which can be found here – http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/510900/sc-pd-2of2017.pdf
Legislation and catchwords
- Class action
- Representative proceedings
- Procedural requirements
- ss 103A, 103B, 103G, 103H, 103S, 103T, and 103W of the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 (Qld)
- Rules 74A, 77A, 77B, 77C, 77D, 77E, and 77F of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld)
- Uniform Civil Procedure (Representative Proceedings) Amendment Rule 2017 (Qld)
- Limitations of Actions (Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016 (Qld)