Conference on EU Class Actions at European Parliament


Registration is now open for a conference on E.U. class actions: ‘Increasing Access to Justice Through Class Actions: A Conference for Litigators & Policy Makers’. It will take place in Brussels within the committee rooms of the European Parliament on November 12 – 13, 2012.  Seating within the European Parliament is limited so spaces should be reserved now.

The list of speakers is extraordinary and includes a lawyer who drafted Poland’s law on opt-in class actions; the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Ireland Michael McDowell; former vice president of the European Parliament Diana Wallis; Boston lawyer Jan Schlichtmann who was portrayed by John Travolta in the film “A Civil Action”; Prof. Rachael Mulheron of Queen Mary University, London; Prof. Laura Carballo of Spain; Michele Carpagnano, co-author of a recent report on class actions for the European Parliament’s Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee; and many others.

The location is the European Parliament with a few of its committee rooms, graciously hosted by Members of European Parliament McGuinness, Gallagher, Harkin, and Van der Stoep.

The topics that will be discussed include Access to Justice as a Human Right; How to Prosecute a Class Action; How to Defend a Class Action; The New Paternalism in Europe: Why Some Prefer Governments and NGOs Over Private Plaintiffs; the Opt-Out Mechanism versus the Opt-in Mechanism; and numerous other topics.  The conference will provide a balanced look at some of the critical issues that Brussels is thinking about in deciding whether to design a system of collective redress for the entire E.U.  The speakers will discuss class action mechanisms that already exist in certain Member States such as Sweden and Italy as well as any lessons to be learned form the United States experience with class actions.

To register, please go to this link as soon as possible to save your space, since seating in the European Parliament is limited. You can book a room at the nearby Renaissance Hotel at a reduced rate.

Numerous organizations are jointly presenting the conference including the Netherlands Bar Association, the French-speaking Brussels Bar Association, Union Internationale des Avocats, AIJA (International Association of Young Lawyers); National University of Ireland Maynooth Department of Law; New York State Bar Association International Section; Catholic University of Lyon Department of Law; PEOPIL (Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers); American Bar Association Section of International Law; and others.  You can view the complete list of cooperating entities at this link.

For more information, please check the link above or feel free to contact Robert J. Gaudet, Jr.

Thanks to Laura Carballo Piñeiro (University of Santiago de Compostela) for providing this announcement.