Consumer Collective Redress in European Private International Law

Zheng Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Collective redress congregates claims of a group of claimants with similar factual and legal issues together in one action. It is introduced in consumer litigation primarily to overcome the weakness of expensive and time-consuming court proceedings in small claims in order to increase consumers' access to justice. Compared to the common law countries with the class action tradition, collective redress in European countries is at an 'experimental' stage. The European Commission is currently examining existing collective redress mechanisms in the Member States, exploring effective and efficient means to address mass claims of consumers. During the process of the Commission's project in collective redress, a special question has gradually attracted stakeholders' attention, which is how the collective redress would work in a cross-border context. This article aims to examine cross-border collective redress from a private international law perspective. It introduces the European developments on collective redress, examines the theoretical and practical challenge brought by collective redress to the current private international law and evaluates the effect of the current European private international law in the future development of collective redress mechanisms, including classification, proximity, judicial proceedings in supporting the voluntary settlement, lis pendens, exequatur, effects on the third state and substantive rights. It is submitted that the current European conflicts regime does not fit the purpose of cross-border collective redress. The jurisdictional barrier to the future development of collective redress is not catastrophic though inconvenience, uncertainty and unfairness may exist in certain circumstances, but the choice of law barrier is much more fundamental. The article provides a reform proposal and a perspective for the future development of collective redress in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-147
Number of pages47
JournalJournal of Private International Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
EventConference of Journal of Private International Law - New York, United States
Duration: 18 Apr 200918 Apr 2009


  • collective redress
  • jurisdiction
  • choice of law
  • exequatur
  • third countries


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