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WHY JOIN US?

What is EJF?

EJF is a business organisation focused on civil justice reform in Europe, based on independent academic research. Our objective is a system of redress for consumers and business at domestic and EU level which allows compensation quickly and cheaply where it is justified, and which is not premised on collective litigation. In practice this has meant defusing the risk of importing US-style class actions into Europe and promoting forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), with regulatory oversight.

EJF has established a track record that shows our focused approach works: internationally recognised academic research that changes both academic and government thinking allied with credible advocacy of a better, ADR, model for consumer redress that avoids the risks of class actions.

The risks of abuse in class actions are now universally recognised. There is a growing understanding of their lack of utility. The entry into force in June 2013 of the ADR Directive shows the way attitudes are changing for the better. This requires Member States to provide, within 2 years, a comprehensive system of ADR entities to handle most consumer-to-business contract disputes, followed up by the establishment of an online portal to handle such disputes. We have strongly advocated moving the goal posts in this way.

We go further than that, to encompass all disputes including mass torts. Here there is still work to be done. Class actions “à la européenne” continue to hold a fascination for some as a panacea for providing access to justice. The Commission’s Recommendation on collective redress published in June 2013 exhorts Member States to implement, by 26 July 2015, common collective litigation procedures in their national systems. Whilst not legally binding, the European Commission’s call[1] can only increase the risk of litigation against companies. The Commission will then evaluate the status of collective redress laws in the Member States by July 2017, at the latest and will then consider if any further measures on collective redress are needed. This tight agenda leads observers to believe that the current recommendation is merely an intermediate step to binding legislation after the four-year period has expired, effectively institutionalizing a litigation culture at EU level.

The next few years will be decisive. EJF currently is assisting its members by monitoring the implementation process very closely, tracking Member States’ development of their own systems, and letting their members’ voices be heard.

What are the benefits of joining EJF?

EJF member companies derive considerable business value from an organisation focused on systems of redress which provide a functional alternative to litigation, do not stigmatise business, and keeps that target high on the policy agenda in Europe. Businesses investing in Europe want to grow, but mass litigation with its potential for abuse, adds to transaction costs, reducing productivity and overall competitiveness. Our members want to see dispute systems which allow them to stay close to their customers, resolving legitimate complaints properly, but quickly and cheaply, thus also maintaining confidence in their products and services. Our research shows that variants of such systems already exist and work in many jurisdictions, and our ADR model is based on that experience. If this sounds familiar we invite you to join us.

All corporate members of EJF are encouraged to participate in our public affairs activities and to contribute to the preparation of our position papers. We have regular Public Affairs Group meetings in Brussels and elsewhere, an Annual Members’ Meetings in London in spring, and a US Members’ meeting in New York every autumn. The members’ private section of our website gives current updates of our activities. Regular newsletters summarise key legislative and policy developments at national as well as at an EU level. We also monitor changes to redress policy in key jurisdictions elsewhere, to see what impact European redress systems could have on them, or the other way round.  This know-how would be costly for most individual members to generate for their own legal departments.

We provide a forum for exchange and advocacy of practical ideas and information about civil justice systems in Europe, based on experience of what works and does not, and using the fruits of first class empirical research. Our members provide the means by which to continue and expand our research and advocacy programmes.

HOW TO JOIN US?

If you would like to join EJF or receive further information on the benefits of becoming a member, please don’t hesitate to contact us at this email address and/or request your complete membership pack.

European Justice Forum Secretariat

Marnixlaan, 28

1000 Brussels

Belgium

Tel: +32 2 548 02 71

Email: info@europeanjusticeforum.org

 


[1] http://ec.europa.eu/justice/civil/files/c_2013_3539_en.pdf