Does the westpoint litigation signal a revival of the ASIC section 50 class action?

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Abstract
Section 50 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) confers a wide power on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to bring civil action in the name of the company or a class action for shareholders or investors for the recovery of damages for corporate misconduct. Despite its broad scope, this power has been little used by ASIC. Until the recent Westpoint litigation it appeared that this trend seemed set to continue due to the recent growth in ASIC’s arsenal of enforcement powers, in particular the ability to bring proceedings seeking civil penalties, together with what promises to be a new age of private enforcement of shareholders rights through class actions funded by litigation funding corporations. In the context of this likely expansion of private enforcement action and the current legislative framework of ASIC’s enforcement powers, this article will examine when ASIC should bring civil action under this provision.
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Austin, Janet Elizabeth
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Publication Year
2008
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Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty
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