Prof. Laura Carballo Piñeiro (University of Santiago de Compostela) has just published her monograph entitled Las acciones colectivas y su eficacia extraterritorial. Problemas de recepción y transplante de las class actions en Europa (Collective actions and their extraterritorial effectiveness. Issues on the reception and adaptation of class actions in Europe).
The book, the last one of the Collection De Conflictu Legum directed by Prof. Santiago Álvarez, deals with PIL problems of collective actions. Most of the proceedings implying collective actions take place in the United States, whilst in Europe there is still an ongoing debate concerning whether to introduce or to improve collective litigation in each single national legislation, and whether to develop some specific Community instrument on the subject (as suggested by the White Paper on damages actions for breach of the EC antitrust rules, and by the Green Paper on Consumer Collective Redress). Nevertheless, PIL problems are also of importance for European countries: an American class action may need to be served or enforced in Europe. From now on, as a result of the increasing number of States dealing with collective actions, international jurisdiction and conflict of laws issues are also at stake .
The book starts with a thorough identification of the procedural problems arising from collective actions. Prof. Carballo makes clear how the many misunderstandings on the topic -mostly due to mistrust of US-American class actions- are a hurdle in itself, not only for the introduction of collective justice in many States, but also for its practical application. Spain provides a good exemple: although collective-friendly, Spanish rules on collective actions on consumer matters lack clarity and basic guarantees are not laid down.
PIL issues follow this procedural introduction. Prof. Carballo studies if and how the international jurisdiction criteria laid down by Regulation Brussels I may apply when the action is collective; the application of international and community instruments in order to identify and notify absent class members; if it is necessary to create special conflict rules for collective actions in the European area of justice; and recognition and enforceability issues.