Litigation: Past and Present

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Wilfrid R. Prest, Sharyn L. Roach Anleu
UNSW Press, 2004 - Law - 209 pages
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Litigation does not have a good press - in fact, it is usually viewed very negatively. Rates of litigation in Western countries are claimed to be spiralling beyond control, and this is said to indicate a fundamental crisis in contemporary Western societies. "Litigation: Past and Present" sheds some much-needed light on these views, by examining actual patterns of litigation, both historical and contemporary, and considering the many ways in which courts provide strategies for social change and social justice. Topics surveyed include the long-range recording of litigation rates, the social uses of legal action, the effectiveness of procedural reforms in reducing litigation, and the impact of legal proceedings and activism on Indigenous rights, and on marriage and family issues. Litigation and its impact are too often discussed in excessively rhetorical and pragmatic terms. This volume, with contributions from internationally recognised scholars, adds much needed empirical research and theoretical perspectives to the discussion.
 

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Contents

Litigation historical and contemporary dimensions
1
The longitudinal study of civil litigation in England 12001996
24
Some figures behind the numbers going to law in earlymodern England
44
Litigation in the earl years of the Cantebury settlement 185261
59
When married women litigate issues from divorce and property disputes in colonial and contemporary Australia
75
Hey but whos counting? The metrics and politics of trends in civil litigation
96
Litigation and the Federal civil justice system
122
Litigation reform 19802000 a radical challenge?
146
Challenging the status quo Indigenous activism and the rule of law in Australia
171
International law as litigation strategy for Indigenous Australians a comparison of the Mabo and Nulyarimma cases
186
Index
206
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