Table of Contents

The Law and Economics of Class Actions in Europe

The Law and Economics of Class Actions in Europe

Lessons from America

New Horizons in Law and Economics series

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus, Alberto Cassone and Giovanni B. Ramello

This well-documented book discusses the power and limitations of class actions with insights and analysis from a panel of distinguished scholars. It pays special attention to the introduction and the applicability of such a legal device in European civil law countries. The book offers a broad legal and economic investigation, drawing insights from US judicial experience and giving a rigorous discussion of both the philosophical and constitutional aspects and the economic mechanisms and incentives set up by class actions.

Chapter 4: Will Aggregate Litigation Come to Europe?

Samuel Issacharoff and Geoffrey P. Miller

Subjects: economics and finance, law and economics, law - academic, european law, law and economics


Samuel Issacharoff and Geoffrey P. Miller The current wave of deregulation and market liberalization in Europe has had major repercussions for the prospect of litigated forms of collective redress. Once decried as the perversity of rapacious Americans, class actions are now the focus of significant reform efforts in many European countries and even at the level of the European Union. There are, no doubt, many reasons for the relatively sudden attention to means of collective redress. Some have to do with the need to create effective ex post accountability mechanisms to contain the potential adverse effects of goods and services freely entering the market. Others seek to create mechanisms for efficient resolution of the numerous intertwined claims that invariably arise from the mass production and delivery of goods and services across a broad market. One should not gainsay the significance of these reform measures. All represent efforts to mobilize means of private enforcement to foster prevention through the prospect of civil litigation. For countries steeped in the civil law tradition, the move away from centralized public enforcement is a sea change in legal structures. The marriage of private enforcement mechanisms and relaxed barriers to entry into increasingly deregulated markets is a significant change as well. Add to that the diversity of litigation tools that are being developed and one would have to be almost churlish not to marvel at the liberalizing spirit sweeping the Continent. And, yet, one need spend only a few minutes in conversations with European reformers before...

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