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Seminar Series Trends and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice

From December 2021 – June 2022, the team of the Vici project ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ at Erasmus School of Law, will organize an online seminar series dedicated to Trends and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice.

On 15 December, the series will kick off with a general session that will address several topics of access to justice and costs and funding, including collective redress and costs reforms, and will present a Law & Economics perspective.

The other seminars will zoom in on topics such as legal mobilization in Europe, the impact of Public Interest Litigation on access to justice, third party funding (TPF) in Europe, austerity policies in southern Europe and funding and costs of ADR in civil justice.

You can register for (one or more of) the seminars here.


UPCOMING EVENT: 15 December 2021, 15.30-17.30 CEST

First session: Access to Justice and Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation

The first seminar will discuss key topics and developments in costs and funding of litigation, including third-party litigation funding. It will be combined with the launch of the book New Pathways to Civil Justice in Europe (Springer, 2021) that emerged from an earlier conference organized by the ERC project team.

Judith Resnik (Yale University) who authored the concluding chapter (available open access) will, among others, discuss the question from which perspective to understand the civil legal system so as to make judgments about whether a system is just or unjust.

Ianika Tzankova (Tilburg University) will discuss access to justice against the background of trends in global dispute resolution where big players are shaping the future, and the funding of litigation.

John Sorabji (University College London) will focus on developments in costs and funding of civil justice, including the move to recoverable fees, the upcoming review of the Jackson costs reform and funding of representative actions.

Louis Visscher (Erasmus School of Law) will present a Law & Economics perspective on costs and funding, including rational apathy, risk aversion and agency problems.

The seminar will be introduced and moderated by Xandra Kramer, PI of the Vici and ERC projects at Erasmus School of Law.

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Published: June 8, 2021

On Thursday 6 May, our seminar series on ‘EU Civil Justice’ kicked off with a general introduction to the series by Xandra Kramer. The first two-hour seminar dealt with the role of out-of-court justice in the European enforcement landscape. Taking a holistic perspective, our invited speaker Fabrizio Cafaggi (Judge at the Italian Council of State, former professor at the EUI and the University of Trento) talked about the role of Article 47 EUCFR in shaping the interaction between different enforcement processes. Specifically, Cafaggi explained how Article 47 EUCFR has institutional implications for the balance between individual and collective redress and for the relationship between judicial and administrative enforcement as well as ADR. The Court of Justice of the European Union has played a key role in employing the fundamental right to an effective remedy to give shape to their complementarity. Reference points are the Court’s rulings in Cases C-73/16 - Puškár, C-317/08 - Alassini, C-75/16 - Menini and Rampanelli and C-381/14 - Sales Sinués. According to Cafaggi, the case-law shows that Article 47 generally favors choice between different processes. However, mandatory sequences that oblige to either exhaust administrative remedies or attempt ADR before accessing judicial remedies are not excluded as long as certain conditions are met. Betül Kas (post-doctoral researcher, Erasmus University Rotterdam) zoomed in on the relationship between ADR and court proceedings in collective disputes by discussing the highly contentious collective settlement in the Volkswagen litigation in Germany. Kas reconstructed the procedural and practical circumstances that lead the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband - vzbv) to settle outside the procedural scope of the German model case procedure (Musterfeststellungsklage). While this move withdrew the settlement from the safeguards installed within the procedure and any judicial oversight, it enhanced the choice of individual consumers, which could either accept Volkswagen’s settlement offer or pursue individual judicial proceedings benefitting from the suspension of the limitation period. The topic of collective settlements raises interesting questions about safeguarding Article 47 in opt-in/opt-out mechanisms and as to the degree of judicial involvement required in collective settlements. The discussion raised further interesting question of a principal nature, such as the meaning of ‘privatization’ and ‘effectiveness’ in EU civil justice.