Belgium's New Consumer Class Action
Forthcoming in V. Harsagi & C.H. van Rhee (eds.), Multi-Party Redress Mechanisms in Europe: Squeaking Mouses?, Antwerp, Intersentia, 2014
17 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 24, 2014
Until very recently, Belgium had no, or limited, tools to resolve mass cases. In the 2011 coalition agreement, the government Di Rupo aimed to put in place a procedure of collective claim settlement for consumers. In mid-December 2013, the cabinet approved a draft act introducing an action for collective redress in Belgium. The proposal was submitted to Parliament at the beginning of 2014. The act of 28 March 2014 ‘Introducing a Consumer Collective Redress Action in the Code of Economic Law’ was published in the Official Gazette on 29 April 2014 and entered into force on 1 September 2014.
This paper analyses Belgium's new consumer class action. It gives an overview of the class action prerequisites, the exclusive competence of the Brussels courts, the opt-in or opt-out regime and the procedure. Finally, a brief evaluation is made.
Keywords: collective redress, class action, consumers, Belgium
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