EU considers harmonizing class action rules

by Walter Olson on July 26, 2013

The various member countries have very different traditions as to “collective redress” of legal claims, and while some have liberalized the procedures recently, none is anywhere near as liberal as the United States in permitting lawyers to assert class actions. That’s not going to change, according to Monique Goyens, director general of the European consumer organisation BEUC, which has pushed for new collective redress rules: “The key safeguards against exorbitant awards are in place. So we are not importing US class actions.” [Euractiv] More specifically:

The safeguards include swiftly ending unfounded cases and avoiding national systems where lawyers’ fees are calculated as a percentage of the compensation awarded, like current systems in the US and, to a lesser extent, in some European countries. The Commission also advises countries to avoid punitive measures, inflicted on top of actual damage and compensation for victims.

Maybe one of these days we could get some of those safeguards over here.

{ 1 comment }

1 Shtetl G 07.26.13 at 12:28 pm

There are always certain members of the intelligentsia that always telling us that America needs to be more sophisticated like Europe when it comes to the law (the death penalty is one area I can think of off the top of my head). Its funny that the same intelligentsia doesn’t look towards Europe when it comes to tort reform or late term abortion. And by funny I mean utterly predictable.

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