Resource Centre > National collective redress models > Dutch model

This model is quite unique: it does not involve collective litigation, but court-approved collective settlements.

The model was introduced by the Act on Collective Settlement of Mass Damages of 2005 in response to the needs of the DES case (daughters of women who took DES took action against 18 DES manufacturers - it was estimated that some 440,000 people were affected, and the Court used the principle of alternative causation because it was unclear who exacly would be liable. In 1999 settlement was reached and a DES compensation fund was established, where 35 million Euro was to be paid by the manufacturers and insurers).

The Dutch settlement model involves a procedure where, upon a settlement between the parties, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam is asked to approve the settlement. It will refuse approval under some circumstances: such as compensation amount being inadequate, insufficient security for payment, the agreement does not provide for independent determination of compensation amounts to be paid out, lack of adequate representation, etc. If, however, the settlement is approved, it is binding upon all those entitled to compensation unless they choose not to be bound.

The procedure was already used in cases such as: DEXIA Bank, or Shell (please see our 'Cases section' for more details of these cases).

For a more detailed analysis of the Dutch model and updates see the Stanford Law School Global Class Actions Exchange.