Amid great controversy class actions were introduced in the Federal Court in 1992 for the purpose of providing an efficient mechanism by which victims of illegal conduct could secure access to justice. Sixteen years later class actions continue to evoke sharp divisions in the community as to whether this goal has been achieved. As a result, all Australian Governments, other than in Victoria, have refused to consider, let alone embrace, class action reform. Progress on reform will remain stalled until a comprehensive empirical and comparative study is undertaken. Such a study will finally provide an accurate analysis of all major aspects of the operation of the Federal class action regime. This project aims to provide that study.