Administrative and Judicial Collective Enforcement of Consumer Law in the US and the European Community

EUI LAW Working Paper No. 2007/22

55 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2007

See all articles by Fabrizio Cafaggi

Fabrizio Cafaggi

Independent

Hans‐W. Micklitz

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

In the consumer society, as it stands today in Western-type democracies, consumers have a far larger choice of products and services originating from all over the world than they did decades ago. Risks associated with products and services have also increased, as have mass problems and mass damages, often in a transborder dimension. The US and the European Community, though battling against common problems, maintain different standard setting and enforcement regimes. This paper focuses on enforcement regimes, thereby distinguishing between administrative enforcement via agencies and judicial collective enforcement via European collective actions and US class actions. The existing theoretical framework depicting administrative and judicial enforcement as alternative strategies is contrasted against modern developments in the US and the EC. In the field of consumer protection administrative control and judicial collective enforcement are being understood more as functional complements than alternatives. Enforcement covers negotiation, settlement, adjudication and arbitration. The analysis of the institutional variables determining the choice between administrative and judicial control - ex ante vs. ex post control, injunctive relief versus damages, personal injuries and economic losses, sector specificity vs. general instruments to protect consumers, public agencies vs. private organisations - provide the ground for preliminary thoughts on a revised theoretical approach.

Keywords: consumer protection, judicial enforcement, class action, administrative agencies, transborder litigation

Suggested Citation

Cafaggi, Fabrizio and Micklitz, Hans-W., Administrative and Judicial Collective Enforcement of Consumer Law in the US and the European Community (August 2007). EUI LAW Working Paper No. 2007/22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1024103

Fabrizio Cafaggi (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Hans-W. Micklitz

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Boccaccio 121 (Villa Schifanoia)
I-50122 Firenze
Italy

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