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The Australian National University

Towards Harmonised Company Legislation — "Are We There Yet"?

R I Barrett (2012) 40 (2)

The enactment of uniform companies legislation in 1961–2 was a significant achievement for a country in which, a century earlier, multiple incorporations of the one body was the norm and a court of one colony questioned the existence of corporate personality created by the law of another. After Federation, business interests increasingly sought uniform State laws. They opposed centralised regulation which, in any event, was beset by constitutional difficulties. Commonwealth legislation eventually became the preferred model as shortcomings of uniform and co-operative mechanisms were progressively exposed. Yet fully harmonised corporations legislation still does not exist. In this paper presented to the 2011 Hartnell Colloquium at the Centre for Commercial Law, Australian National University to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Uniform Companies Acts, the author sketches the development of Australian companies legislation over the last 150 years.

Vol 40, Issue 2, 2012

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