Rachael Mulheron, ‘The United Kingdom’s New Opt-Out Class Action’

On 1 October 2015, a sea change in English civil procedure occurred, when the UK’s first opt-out class action regime took effect. Its drafting choices occurred against a backdrop of considerable comparative jurisprudence from Australia, Canada and the United States. For example, the regime’s flexible standing provisions avoid difficulties that have arisen in class action regimes in other jurisdictions, by enabling a class action to be brought either by a directly affected class member as representative or by a suitable representative who has no cause of action. On the other hand, the preliminary merits criteria which the class representative will need to prove are far-reaching and more onerous than those implemented elsewhere. In the first certification decision delivered under the regime – a moment of history created on 31 March 2017 – the Competition Appeal Tribunal has made it plain that comparative insights will be highly relevant. This article analyses that milestone event, by examining this first decision in light of the drafting choices made under the UK regime, whilst also suggesting further ways in which comparative law may be helpful on key interpretive words and phraseology in cases to come.

Rachael Mulheron, The United Kingdom’s New Opt-Out Class Action, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqx016. Published: 7 October 2017.

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