Irish consumers will be able to bring collective claims to the High Court under new legislation announced by ministers yesterday.
The legislation will transpose into Irish law a proposed new EU directive aimed at facilitating coordination and effective action from national consumer authorities at EU level and reinforcing public enforcement action and better protection of consumer rights.
The new mechanism has been dubbed the “European class action” and will allow designated qualified entities to take enforcement action in the Irish courts on behalf of a group of consumers whose rights have been breached either in Ireland or in another EU country.
However, the government rejected comparisons with the US class action model, highlighting that only not-for-profit organisations will be able to apply for designation as qualified entities and thus be able to use the procedural mechanism for representative actions.
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