multi-party procedural reform,
and a group register that re£ects another ¢ve
actions authorised as groupl itigation orders in England andWales during 2006,
it was a busy year.
The most recent reform activity follows upon the heels of an extensive Con-
on class actions which was produced by the Irish Law
Reform Commission (ILRC) in 2005. Earlier in 2001, the Lord Chancellor’s
Department (LCD) produced a Consultation
possible introduction of a new representative action for England andWales.The
most notable aspect of both of these particular reformenquiries is that they pro-
duced not one jot of relevant legislation. The LCD preferred to ‘feed into issues
at the European level where there is representative claim elements in legislation
and the ILRC’sproposed DraftRules for multi-party actions
have yet to b e implemente d.
Hence, it will be fascinating to see how proactive
the most recent proposals turn out to be.
At th e generic level (ie, regimes that permit any type of cause of action to be
litigated within their realm), English procedure is presently served by two
sets of provisions: the group litigation order,
and the representative rule,
both of which were included in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) in May
Further, a set of situation-speci¢c provisions has been introduced on a
piecemeal basis, which provides for representative actions within certain case
scenarios, whether under domestic legislation
or under European Union
consumer protection directives.
It is especially notable that all of the abovemen-
tioned suggestions for reform post-date the introduction of the GLO and the
5 Civil Justice Council,‘Consumer Redress and Multi-Party Litigation’ LatimerCon ference Cen-
tre,15^16 Nov 2006; Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies,‘Conference on Group Litigation’
6 See: the list reproduced at: http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/150.htm (last visited 11
7Consultation Paper on Multi-PartyLitigation(Class Actions) (LRC CP 25- 2003), July 2003.
8Multi-PartyLitigation (LRC 76-2005), September 2005.
9RepresentativeClaims: Proposed NewProcedures: ConsultationPaper (February 2001).
10 RepresentativeClaims: Proposed NewProcedures: ConsultationResponse (April 2002).
11 ibid,‘Conclusion’ at .
12 A new Order 18A, contained within AppA of the Final Report, Multi-Party Litigation, n 8 above,
13 As noted by the ILRC itself in:Table of Implementationof Commiss ion Reports (Oct 2006),1.
14 As contained within Part 19.III of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), in particular, rules 19.10^19.15.
15 As contained within rule19.6 of the CPR.
16 Inserted by the Civil Procedure(Amendment) Rules 2000 (SI 2000/221), rule 9, Sch 2.
17 See, eg,collective claims for damages in respect of antitrust violations,permitted by Competition
Act 19 98, c 41, s 47B, which was inserted by the Enterprise Act 2002, c 40, s 19.The provision is
entitled,‘Claims brought on behalf of consumers’. Relevant subsections permit a‘speci¢ed body’
to institute an action for ‘consumer claims’on behalf of at least two consumers. For recent infor-
mal consultation on this area, see O⁄ce of Fair Trading,PrivateActionsin CompetitionLaw: E¡ective
Redress forConsumersand Business (April 2007). Consultation closes in June 20 07.
18 See: Council Directive 84/450/EEC of 10 September 1984 relating to the approximation of the
laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning misleading
advertising, art 4; Council Directive 93/13 of 5 Apr1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts,
art 7(2); Directive 98/27/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 1998 on
injunctions for the protectionof consumers’i nterests,art 3; Directive 2005/29/EC of the European
Parliamentand of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerni ng unfair b usiness-to-consumer commer-
cial practices in internal market, art 11.
r2007 The Author.Journal Compilation r2007 The Modern Law ReviewLimited.
(2007) 70(4)MLR 550^580