Journal of South Pacific Law
Volume 4 2000

by Mohammed Ahmadu

Title: Annotated Trade Practices Act 1974.

Author: Ray Steinwall

Published by Butterworths Australia (1999).

ISBN: 0 409 31638 5

PP: 731.

This book is an annotation of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The book is a mammoth treatise consisting of twelve parts and running to 731 pages. The twelve parts represent the twelve divisions of the Act. These have been covered in pages 1 to 529 of the text.

Major highlights of the Annotated text include a discussion on the following areas: the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; access to services; and consumer protection. Others include product liability and enforcement procedures in connection with the powers of the Tribunal.

A very noticeable feature of this Act (as discussed in the text), is the inclusion of some provisions dealing not only with anti-competition generally, but specifically those covering anti-competitive practices in the telecommunications industry. This represents a major advancement in the protection of yet another potentially abusive area of consumer services.

The quality of the annotated text has been significantly enhanced by its coverage of the Competition Reform Policy Act 1995. This sets out to achieve a degree of uniformity in the implementation of inter-Governmental agreements on code of conduct, competition principles etc. In addition to this, the book also deals with the regulations for practice and procedure in proceedings before the Review Tribunal.

Furthermore, all relevant pro forma forms for use in the Tribunal‘s proceedings and associated litigation costs have been included in the schedules to the annotated text.

I find the annotations not only very well presented, but equally detailed in their scope of coverage. The author has amplified the meanings of the often-salient provisions (for instance in misleading advertisements) with the use of a number of well-reasoned judicial authorities. The extensive use of case laws to annotate the entire gamut of the text deserves commendation.

For anyone wishing to have a glimpse of trade practices in the Australian Federation, this book is the authority to go for. There is a lot in store for South Pacific Island nations to benefit from when, executing their law reform programmes especially in this area of the law. Practitioners, students, academics and the Bench will surely find this book an ideal legal companion.