Empirical analysis in class actions


Access to justice through the class action mechanism has brought many benefits with relief and compensation obtained by many who would otherwise not be able to afford access to the legal system. The area is fast moving and with courts constantly grappling with new and difficult issues.


Project background and aims

Empirical analysis of class action cases and results over more than two decades yields many insights including the ability to evaluate (1) adherence to the principles underpinning the concept of open justice in class action settlements and (2) how well there has been, in various areas of class actions, facilitation of claims by people whose individual loss, although significant, was outweighed by the cost or risk of bringing individual legal action plus benefits to defendants in avoidance of inconsistent verdicts and results and by the resolution of a large number of claims in a single action.


The analyses are empirical as well as incorporating traditional doctrinal analysis.


  • Julian Schimmel, Nina Abbey and Vince Morabito, ‘Empirical and Practical Perspectives on Twenty-Seven Years of Product Liability Class Actions in Australia’ (from Part IV - Asia and the South Pacific) Edited by Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas (Cambridge University Press), DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108770927.020
  • Vince Morabito, ‘Looking into the fishbowl - open justice and federal class action settlements’ (2019) 93(6) Australian Law Journal 446.