Lawyer Questions Measures For Collective Action Success

17th Jul 2020

A partner with the Signature Litigation law firm said in a Law360 opinion piece the “most dangerous aspect” of the collective redress proposal being discussed at the European Union level is that the public authorities “perceive the success of the [collective action] mechanisms that they are either amending or creating on the number of claims filed” rather than on how the law is actually applied.

Sylvie Gallage-Alwis, who also serves as head of the firm’s product liability litigation practice, said the “right application of the rule of law is not part of the debate while speaking about a liability regime.” The EU is about to formally adopt a directive that will introduce new collective action rules across the Union. Gallage-Alwis warns that “the main goal of the authorities is to increase the number of claims and not to focus on the fact that standard civil liability principles should apply.”

Gallage-Alwis advises that if an EU Member State consider how to implement the collective redress directive over the next few years, policymakers should ask “[w]hy is the success of class actions only perceived through the number of companies prosecuted and, more importantly, through the number of companies sentenced? Shouldn’t the success of a legal system be assessed on the correct application of the rule of law by the courts instead?”