15 Colum. J. Eur. L. 409 (2009)
Rachael Mulheron. Professor, Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London.
Reform of collective redress has garnered significant momentum and engendered widespread debate in England and elsewhere in Europe, particularly since 2007. Several important statutory and reform initiatives, and case law developments, have occurred across European Member States, and at the EU level, during this period. While many legal and policy conundrums have arisen for discussion, perhaps the most important question hovering above the debates and consultations on the subject can be reduced to this: opt-in or opt-out? In this Article, the author argues that, despite the panoply of opt-in procedural regimes available in England, there is a demonstrable need in that jurisdiction for a further and complementary procedural device, viz, an opt-out collective action, and that several of the “hard lessons” learned under the existing English regimes may prove to be of some interest and utility to law reformers and jurists in other European Member States. In a nutshell, “something more” is required to facilitate the litigation and testing of widespread grievances among European citizens, in circumstances where, presently, these grievances are being neither addressed nor compensated.