Australian Private Securities Class Actions and Public Interest: Assessing the 'Private Attorney-General' by Reference to the Rationales of Public Enforcement

29 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2018

Date Written: June 6, 2018

Abstract

Private securities class actions now appear to be a part of Australia’s legal landscape but opinions about their value are not unanimous. This paper reviews the 'private attorney-general' argument for the utility of private securities class actions as 'vindicating the public interest' and supplementing public enforcement of securities laws. It then makes an original contribution to the debate by analysing the rationales for public enforcement of securities laws and assessing the extent to which private securities class actions seek to, can or do achieve these objectives. Data on the nineteen largest successful securities class actions or claims in Australia are examined by reference to various attributes which derive from these rationales and public interest scores allocated accordingly.

Keywords: Securities Class Actions, Public Interest, Private Enforcement

JEL Classification: K22, K41, K42, K13

Suggested Citation

Duffy, Michael, Australian Private Securities Class Actions and Public Interest: Assessing the 'Private Attorney-General' by Reference to the Rationales of Public Enforcement (June 6, 2018). Australian Journal of Corporate Law Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3192191

Michael Duffy (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

23 Innovation Walk
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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