David Spencer

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Over the last decade some jurisdictions in the United States have experienced a downturn in the number of trials being run - a trend the American Bar Association has called the ‘vanishing trial phenomenon’. Between 1962 and 2002 the proportion of civil disposals by trial in the US District Courts has fallen from 11.5% to 1.8%. While the evidence in the US shows that trials are not vanishing rather they are in decline, can the same be said in Australia? This paper examines the decline of the trial in Australia using the New South Wales District Court as the judicial landscape for discussion.

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Open Access Journal Article

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