Belgian class actions — the final stretch

The Belgian collective redress act (hereafter the ‘Collective Redress Act’) was signed into law just before the Easter break on 27 March 2014 and is expected to enter into force in the next couple of months (a royal decree should set forth the effective date shortly).

The Collective Redress Act has been conceived as a chapter on ‘class actions’ that are governed by specific procedural rules that depart from the common rules of civil procedure. The courts of Brussels will have exclusive jurisdiction over Collective Redress Act cases. The main features of the procedure are as follows:

‘C2B’ disputes — large spectrum of industry sectors
The Collective Redress Act is limited in scope in that it is meant as a tool for ‘C2B’ disputes, i.e. those involving consumers as claimants and businesses as defendants. Collective redress is only admissible under the Collective Redress Act if the damage alleged by claimants arises out of a contractual breach or a breach of one or more of the specific statutes and regulations listed in the Collective Redress Act…

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