15th March 2021
Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, today announced the launch of a public consultation to seek the views of interested parties on the implementation of the Representative Actions Directive.
The Directive modernises the current European Injunctions regime and aims to improve tools for stopping illegal practices. It will enable collective redress actions to be launched in the Irish Courts by qualified entities to protect the collective interests of consumers under EU consumer protection legislation.
Currently there are differing rules on injunction and redress actions across the EU with different levels of protection for consumers. There are also Member States that do not at present have any collective redress procedures in place, including Ireland. This Directive aims at ensuring that at least one representative action procedure for injunction and redress measures is available to consumers in all Member States, to allow for effective and efficient representative actions available at national and the Union level.
Speaking on the launch, Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD said,
“This Directive is an important development to improve consumers’ access to justice, contribute to fairer competition, and create a level playing field for businesses operating in the internal market. Once implemented, when the rights of a large number of consumers are violated by the same business, a qualified entity can launch a representative action on their behalf before a court.
“This will be a first in Irish law, as such procedures are not currently in place here. My Department and relevant stakeholders have a significant job of work to do to design the procedural mechanism for collective representative actions required by this Directive. I therefore urge all interested bodies, not for profit organisations, consumers, and businesses to consider the objectives of the Directive and to make their views known on how the Directive should be implemented in Ireland and what forms the new procedural mechanism might take”, Minister Troy concluded.
Under the Directive, qualified entities will be able to seek both injunctive relief and collective redress measures from traders who are proven to have caused mass harm to consumers through their violation of relevant consumer protection laws.
This consultation is primarily seeking views on the Member State’s options under the Directive and opportunity is also given to provide general comments, including on the mandatory provisions of the Directive in the Response Template provided.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 7 May 2021.The Directive, which was agreed and published in December 2020, is due to be transposed into Irish law on 25 December 2022 and it will become operational in 2023.
A link to the public consultation can be found at Public consultation on the transposition of Directive (EU) 2020/1828
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