Chapter 7 - The commercial list and specialisation in the High Court


Our terms of reference require us to review the commercial list, which was created by sections 24A to 24G of the Judicature Act 1908. As will become apparent, efforts to try and improve the advancement of commercial causes in the High Court, beginning in 1987 with this list, have had only limited success. The commercial bar has for some years now called for a separate commercial court, but that in turn has opened up a debate about the desirability or otherwise of specialisation in the High Court judiciary.

In this chapter, we begin by outlining the evolution and history of the commercial list as it stands in the High Court. We then move on to discuss specialisation more generally, before setting out some of the options for consideration.