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Trade Practices Act - A Twenty-Five year Stocktake

Frances Hanks and Philip Williams (eds)
Federation Press, March 2001

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From the introduction

'... The Trade Practices Act began life as a hybrid. It was a hybrid in two important senses. The most obvious was that it combined antitrust prohibitions with consumer protection provisions. This somewhat uneasy combination is explored in the chapter in this volume by Bob Baxt and Edward Archibald ...

The second way in which the original Trade Practices Act was a hybrid was that it combined court-enforced proscriptions with the administrative procedure of authorisation on grounds of public benefit. Maureen Brunt has referred to this as our "dual adjudication" procedure. ...

Many other features of the statute and Australian jurisprudence have been adopted by our trans-Tasman neighbours. These are explored in the chapter by Douglas White QC. ...

The role played by the courts, the Commission and the Tribunal in the development of the law is the subject of the chapter by The Hon Justice French of the Federal Court of Australia. ...

In the past five years, two of the most controversial developments in Australian trade practices have been the increased litigation under s 46 and the insertion of Part IIIA – relating to access to essential facilities – into the Trade Practices Act. Blunt and Neale analyse the most-recent of the cases under s 46 (Melway); and Kench looks at the effects of Part IIIA ...

Access is one of the themes explored within the two comparative pieces recorded in this volume. ... the thought-provoking pieces by Judge Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Professor Richard Whish of Kings College London ...

The chapters by Wood and Whish show that the concerns that have dominated debates over antitrust law and policy in Australia and New Zealand over the past 25 years are of concern throughout the developed world. Principal among these are the appropriate bounds between per se prohibitions and the rule of reason, the role of economic analysis in antitrust law, and the role of antitrust in bringing competitive constraints to deregulated public utilities. ...'


Table of contents

Frances Hanks and Philip L Williams

The Evolution of Antitrust Law in the United States
Judge Diane P Wood
Commentary - Donald Robertson

Developments in European Antitrust
Richard Whish
Commentary - Allan Fels

Cross Tasman Trade in Competition Law: Convergence or Divergence?
Douglas White QC
First Commentary - John Fogarty QC
Second Commentary - Maureen Brunt AO

The Role of the Courts in the Development of Australian Trade Practices Law
Justice R S French
Commentary - Neil J Young QC

Part IIIA: Unleashing a Monster?
John Kench
Commentary - Warren Pengilley

Consumer and Business Protection: Its Role in a Pro-Competition Statute
Bob Baxt and Edward Archibald

The Development of section 46 in Australia - Melway and its Likely Impact on Business
Gaire Blunt & J Neale
Commentary - Geoff Taperell


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