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In Sankey v Whitlam (1978) 142 CLR 1 at 25, Gibbs ACJ remarked that: "The power to make declaratory orders has proved to be a valuable addition to the armoury of the law."
Declaratory proceedings are practical and remain one of the most popular remedies in both civil, commercial and public law litigation. In the past few years, the declaration was the remedy sought in a number of high profile cases, including the constitutional challenge to the Workchoices legislation, the AWB privilege claims, the Channel 7 litigation and as to the status of certain proofs of debt in the Sons of Gwalia insolvency. But despite its regular and broad practical application, no Australian work on the subject has been published since 1984.
This book is a collection of papers by eminent Australian jurists on the law of, and major issues involved in obtaining, declaratory relief. They address major questions about declaratory relief, including the jurisdiction and power to award the remedy, its development, historical origins and the discretion vested in a court hearing an action for declaratory relief. It also addresses practical aspects such as the form or terms of the declaration to be ordered and provides some precedents.