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Access to Justice Inquiry

On 4 December 2017, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman launched an inquiry into access to justice for small business.

Small business owners experience a power imbalance in their dealings with big business and governmens. This can stop them from pursing the court system because of the cost, time and resources.

The first phase of the inquiry will examine:

  • the nature and incidence of small business disputes in Australia to identify patterns and trends
  • the level of awareness of options available to small businesses, particularly alternative dispute resolution
  • actions taken by small businesses when faced with a dispute
  • reasons for decisions made throughout the dispute resolution process
  • developments and trends in similar jurisdictions overseas.

A discussion paper will be released to summarise the research and proposed policy options. Public comment will be invited on the paper.

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