The Law and Economics of Class Actions in Europe
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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.
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Chapter 15: The Constitutional Impact of Class Actions in European Legal Systems

Jörg Luther

Extract

JOBNAME: Ramello PAGE: 1 SESS: 5 OUTPUT: Tue Feb 28 11:47:52 2012 15. The constitutional impact of class actions in European legal systems Jörg Luther The transplant of class action into European Legal Systems has to face several questions arising from the European Constitutionalism. Legal comparison helps to understand that the European future of class action depends first of all on how we understand the European origins (Section 1) and the diversity of European legal cultures and societies (Section 2). The political choice of the European lawmakers can be conditioned by specific reasons of economical rationality and cultural reasonability. They are obliged to hold in balance different national and supranational constitutional rules and principles. An assessment of the constitutional impact could be helpful if we take into consideration aspects such as the law making competences (Section 3), the fundamental social and economical rights (Section 4) and the rights of action and defence (Section 5). The following remarks, however, try just to start a comparative debate from an Italian point of view (Section 6). 1. THE EUROPEAN ROOTS OF THE ‘CLASS ACTION’ Comparative lawyers look to the ‘class action’ as an institution of the federal and state law of the United States grounded on the English ‘representative action’.1 This history should need further research from a larger comparative perspective, looking also at the roman law rules of ‘pro alio agere’ through special forms of ‘procurator ad litem’, such as the ‘duoviri’ in the cases of municipia, the ‘quivis...

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