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J Law Med. 2009 May;16(5):721-7.

Vexatious litigant law reform.

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A number of jurisdictions, including in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India and Hong Kong, have recently canvassed reform of vexatious litigant laws which in prescribed circumstances restrict access to the litigation system. The most recent contribution to law reform on the subject is the 2008 report of the Law Reform Committee of the Victorian Parliament. Having reviewed psychiatric and psychological literature on relevant mental health considerations, and taken into account empirical data on the subject, as well as having engaged in extensive consultations, the Committee recommended a series of graduated litigation restriction orders, comparable to but distinct from the system in place in the United Kingdom. This editorial reviews the recommendations of the Committee, the reasons for them and their advantages. It argues that there is much to be said for law reform in relation to vexatious litigation that has, at its centre, management of difficult litigants in a humane and responsive way and that has resort to preclusionary orders only to the minimum extent necessary to guard against foreseeable harm from the repeated bringing of unmeritorious applications or litigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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