Maciej Gac, ‘Collective Redress v Class Actions – Convergence or Divergence Between the European and American Solutions on Group Litigation?’

The goal of the following article is to analyze the issue of convergence between the American and European approach to group litigation. It is particularly important from the EU’s perspective, since it has still not established a common approach to group litigation. Despite several attempts of its introduction, the European concept of collective-redress, based on the rejection of American-style class actions, is still far from being settled. In fact, there exist several national solutions in this matter, however, they often differ with respect to most fundamental issues. In consequence, individuals are faced with a complex legal patchwork of solutions which are applied by some Member States but not by others, what often results in a forum shopping, limited legal transparency and unequal protection of private parties within the EU. In the same time, the American approach to group litigation, despite its high efficiency and great protection of individuals against law violations, struggles with problems such as abusive litigation, risk of over deterrence and fear of massive claims at the side of enterprises. Taking the abovementioned into consideration, the following article tries to answer if it is possible to find a compromise between those two apparently divergent approaches. It also tries to determine if the European Union can establish effective system of group litigation without referring to the American experience. And finally, it aims to establish if the American and European models of group litigation are immanently divergent, or whether there is a possibility for a transatlantic convergence.

Gac, Maciej, Collective Redress v Class Actions – Convergence or Divergence Between the European and American Solutions on Group Litigation? (April 25, 2013). The interaction of national legal systems: convergence or divergence?, Vilnius University Conference Papers 2013.

First posted 2016-02-16 14:16:16

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