The introduction of a class action procedure in France (AFEC, Paris, 20 juin 2013)

The President of the Republic promised before being elected to promote new economic regulation tools aiming at restoring a level playing field between consumers and suppliers. Class action will offer effective collective legal remedies to deal with mass consumption litigation and to compensate resulting economic damages as well as those resulting from anticompetitive practices. The action will have to be taken before the civil court by a consumer association recognized at national level. The court’s judgement shall deal in a single decision with the admissibility of action, the supplier’s liability and the amount of damages to be granted to each concerned consumer. It shall also set out the terms and conditions of payment or compensation and the ways the judgement is made public, thus allowing concerned consumers to join the class action. A fast track procedure may be implemented when the concerned consumer group is identified. When it comes to competition matters, a provisional enforcement will be possible, insofar as the procedure is based on a principle of follow-on procedure pursuant to a final decision from a national or EU competition authority, binding the judge of legal redress.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. This contribution was prepared with the assistance of Frédérique Daudret-John, Departmental Director of the DGCCRF. I. Why group action? 1. The need to introduce into French law a group action mechanism is based on the observation that there is no real procedure for defending the individual interests of consumers. 2. It is true that our legislation has equipped itself with tools to defend the collective interest of consumers, in particular through the various legal actions that can be taken by approved consumer defence associations: civil action, action for cessation of unlawful practices, action for the removal of unfair or unlawful terms in consumer

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Nathalie Homobono, The introduction of a class action procedure in France (AFEC, Paris, 20 juin 2013), September 2013, Concurrences N° 3-2013, Art. N° 53103, p. 54

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