The Senate today passed Labor’s access to justice policy, which will help small businesses take cases of anti-competitive behaviour to court.
Currently, small businesses are less likely to take up private litigation against anti-competitive behaviour.
This is because big businesses have deep pockets and armies of lawyers, so the risk of small businesses being bankrupted by legal fees is a significant disincentive to taking action against anti-competitive conduct.
But this bill will allow a small business request a ‘no adverse costs order’ early in a court case. If the judge decides that the case is in the public interest, the small business will not have the risk of paying the other side’s costs if they lose.
The bill will now return to the House of Representatives, where Malcolm Turnbull has the chance to show whose side he’s on – small business or multinational goliaths.
This reform is based on evidence of what works. Now it just needs the Turnbull Government to stand up for the little guys.
THURSDAY, 10 AUGUST 2017