5th Annual Conference on the Globalization of Class Actions and Mass Litigation
December 8-9, 2011
Mass torts and class actions
Mass litigation is a hot topic with societal relevance. The number of mass torts is expected to increase to such an extent that all jurisdictions will have to find a way to deal with large-scale judicial processes. Mass claims for damages affecting many people are expected in financial services and competition law and other areas.
Besides the Netherlands, mass litigation is topical in European countries such as the UK, Denmark, and Italy (each of which has introduced legislation for handling mass torts), at the level of the European Union, and in the United States.
Differences between national legislation for mass torts and the lack of adequate legislation in some legal systems have prompted both scientific and practical questions. Can mass litigation in the Netherlands accommodate foreign claimants? Will companies be faced with overlapping or competing class actions arising from the same harmful event in different countries? If a collective settlement was reached in the Netherlands, will foreign courts also accept it as binding?
Questions on how to address mass torts are of great importance for legal certainty, for the enforcement and execution of judicial decisions under different legal systems, for the deterrent effect which could be achieved through liability, and for the issue of access to justice.
It is assumed that class action as a remedy improves access to justice for claimants because, if they stand together, they have more leverage and fewer risks and costs, but much depends on the design, especially the financing, and the disadvantages of such a remedy.
This 5th edition of the annual conference on the globalization of class actions and mass litigation is organized by Deborah Hensler (Stanford University/Tilburg University), Christopher Hodges (Oxford University/Erasmus University) and Ianika Tzankova (Tilburg University). Discussion topics include:
- the role of mass communication and the media in increasing the scale of procedures
- the influence of financial sources on class action and mass litigation
- the management of mass cases
- the way in which damages are calculated and allocated
- the approach to and jurisdiction in transnational mass tort cases
- future developments and the extent to which class action may enhance access to justice.
To register for the conference, please contact Ms. Lieke Verwijmeren (L.M.D.Verwijmeren@Tilburguniversity.edu). If you register after November 20, 2011, you will be placed on a waiting list. We will then inform you as soon as possible whether you can participate.