Newsline
Friday
Apr202018

The Commission proposal on collective redress is unbalanced and misses the opportunity of effectively improving consumer's access to justice

Following the release of the New Deal for Consumers package and of the Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, Ekkart Kaske, Executive Director of the European Justice Forum, has declared:

“We regard this proposal as being several steps backwards from the position advocated by the European Commission in its own reasonably well-balanced recommendations on collective redress issued in 2013. We are concerned that the new proposal might have been driven more by a political desire to react to the Dieselgate experience, rather than by the principles of Better Regulation adopted by the European Commission.”

 While the European Justice Forum understands and appreciates the efforts of the European Commission to provide answers to consumers who suffer torts, we are deeply concerned with the solution proposed, which tries to find a simplistic solution for a complex problem. We regret to see that the proposal encourages collective actions in court, instead of envisaging this as a last resort and offering better alternatives such as regulatory redress and Alternative Dispute Mechanisms. We are also concerned by the lack of sufficient safeguards included in the proposal, which ignores the very principles enshrined in the 2013 Recommendation. The current proposal does not provide sufficient guarantees on a number of fundamental aspects, including funding, qualified entities and the opt-in principle. We also see a serious risk of forum shopping both between public and private qualified entities and also between different Member States, since the proposal does not provide sufficient harmonisation.

In sum, the current proposal misses an important opportunity to effectively improve consumers' access to justice by providing timely, affordable and efficient out-of-court redress solutions.

We need to have a thoroughly evidence-based approach” – said Mr Kaske, adding that – “EJF is ready to put the Association’s decade-long comparative research experience in assessing collective redress instruments across Europe at the service of the European institutions. In the interest of consumers, let's work together towards a fair, effective and well-balanced collective redress mechanism​”.

 

For more information, please contact: secretariat@europeanjusticeforum.org

Tuesday
Jun272017

2017 Malcolm Carlisle Memorial Lecture

The 2017 Malcolm Carlisle Memorial Lecture was organised by the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), co-sponsored by European Justice Forum and MedTech Europe, on 1 June 2017. This year, Professor Christopher Hodges, Professor of Justice Systems at Oxford University and Fellow of Wolfson College, addressed fundamental and significant changes which are due to take place in the next few years concerning the way in which all aspects of regulation are enforced across industry and society at large. He also explained how the application of regulation must become more cooperative between regulator and regulated, how government as part of this trend will seek to recover the cost of regulation in fees, and how business can both minimize its costs and benefit from the new regime. Finally, he outlined a possible role for Industry Associations in supporting an essential element of the new approach of 'self-assurance in regulation'. You can view his full presentation via this link.

Friday
Aug122016

European Parliament Legal Affairs committee workshop on common minimum standards in civil procedure

On June 15th 2016 the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee held a workshop on common minimum standards in civil procedure in the EU. The meeting was yet another contribution to shaping the future of harmonisation of civil procedures at the EU level. Both the Commission and the Parliament are currently looking at the possibility of establishing a legislative measure containing a set of minimum standards in civil procedure, perhaps following the example of such standards having recently been drafted for criminal procedure. Before any concrete measure is proposed, questions of scope of the constitutional power of the EU to legislate in this area, the scope of the measure, and its potential effects must be addressed.

The June meeting was attended by MEPs, European Commission's official, the ELI (European Law Institute), the ENCJ (European Network of Councils for the Judiciary), the HCCH (The Hague Conference on Private International Law), and scholars (including Professor Burkhard Hess and Professor Neil Andrews). It also included presentation (by Dr Magdalena Tulibacka) of the findings of a Report on the European Added Value of common minimum standards in civil procedure conducted for the Research Service of the European Parliament and the JURI Committee. The Report was written by Dr Tulibacka, with Roland Blomeyer and Margarita Sanz of Blomeyer & Sanz. It addressed the following issues: whether and why action at the EU level may be necessary (comprehensively reviewing the existing common standards in operation in the EU at present, identifying gaps and recommending changes), what powers the EU has to adopt legislation on common minimum standards in civil procedure, and the costs and benefits of EU action. Importantly, the Report set out three different options for EU action on common minimum standards, and proposed that the current limited understanding of ‘matters with cross-border implications’ that define the EU power to legislate in this area be broadened. Thus, ultimately it offered an opportunity to propose EU-wide standards in civil procedure applicable to cross-border as well as domestic litigation.

The Report will form part of the (forthcoming) European Parliament’s legislative initiative report (2015/2084 (INL)) by the MEP Emil Radev (EPP, Bulgaria).

It is clear from the comments and presentations at the meeting that the matter is complex, and the issues of legislative competence, scope, and effects are not yet agreed upon, even between the Commission and the Parliament.

The programme of the meeting, the key presentations, the video streaming of the meeting, are available on the following website: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/juri/events-workshops.html?id=20160615CHE00181

The Report is available at the following link: https://polcms.secure.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/upload/c4f718ce-2e7a-445e-b211-65c8f427791b/EPRS_CIVIL_PROCEDURE.pdf

 

Wednesday
Jul132016

Los sistemas de resolución alternativa de litigios de consumo y de ‘ombudsman’ en Europa (CRAL) - Christopher Hodges

Friday
Jul082016

La regulación de la ética en los negocios: entendiendo las pruebas - Professor Christopher Hodges

La regulación de la ética en los negocios: entendiendo las pruebas

El presente informe sintetiza las pruebas existentes en la actualidad sobre el modo en que los reguladores públicos en una democracia europea occidental actual deberían tratar de influir en el comportamiento de mercado de los operadores comerciales. El documento se basa, en particular, en conclusiones de la psicología conductual, en los valores éticos compartidos y en los incentivos económicos y culturales. La idea básica es la de un modelo de cooperación entre empresas y actores interesados, de una parte, y funcionaros públicos, de otra, basado en un planteamiento ético común. En este sentido, en el informe se reconocen varios extremos. En primer lugar, que la regulación por sí sola no permite garantizar un comportamiento respetuoso con las normas y que la cultura ética en los negocios constituye un componente esencial que debería promoverse y no menoscabarse. En segundo lugar, que es necesario diseñar sistemas regulatorios y de otro tipo que proporcionen pruebas fiables del compromiso de las empresas con un comportamiento ético. En tercer lugar, que el aprendizaje sistémico debe basarse en la recopilación de información y que para maximizar la comunicación de los problemas es necesaria una cultura basada en la no formulación de reproches. En cuarto lugar, que la regulación será más eficaz si se basa en la participación y cooperación de todas las partes. En quinto lugar, que es necesario proteger a la sociedad frente a aquéllos que pretenden infringir las leyes, mientras que la sociedad espera que las infracciones sean castigadas con sanciones proporcionales.