Class Actions in Brazil - A Model for Civil Law Countries [English]

99 Pages Posted: 19 May 2006 Last revised: 14 Dec 2012

See all articles by Antonio Gidi

Antonio Gidi

Syracuse University - College of Law


Asserting that class actions are compatible with civil law systems, the author describes the Brazilian system of class actions, comparing it with its American counterpart, and placing it in the context of other systems' approaches to class action litigation. In this paper, the author presents the Brazilian class action system to an international audience and introduces a typical civil law class action to an American audience.

The author contends that the Brazilian class action system is a unique creation in the way that it addresses aspects of class action litigation such as standing to sue, types of group rights, res judicata and lis pendens. The Brazilian experience demonstrates that civil law systems can employ a class suit procedure successfully but cannot transplant the American class action model into their systems without substantial adaptation.

Keywords: Brazil, class action, civil law system, Public Civil Action Act, Consumer Code, mass torts, res judicata, lis pendens, collective litigation, collective standing, group rights

JEL Classification: K13, K00, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Gidi, Antonio, Class Actions in Brazil - A Model for Civil Law Countries [English]. American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 51, 2003, U of Houston Law Center No. 2006-A-11, Available at SSRN:

Antonio Gidi (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - College of Law ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States


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