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Observatoire des Actions de Groupe

Austria and Czech Republic RAD updates

On May 2nd 2024, Austria, one of the States furthest behind with the implementation, presented a draft text for examination: draft ‘Federal law enacting a Qualified Entities Act (QEG) and amending the Code of Civil Procedure, the Consumer Protection Act, the Court Fees Act and the Lawyers’ Fees Act (Verbandsklagen-Richtlinie-Umsetzungs- Novelle – VRUN)‘. Now under review, it would enter into force the day after its official publication.

The text explicitly permits third-party funding in representative actions for redress, and chooses the opt-in model (withdrawal is not allowed after joining). The organisation must represent at least 50 consumers to initiate the redress action. No provision is made for ad hoc entities to qualify as QEs.

The QE also has the possibility to apply for an  ‘interim declaratory judgment of rights and legal relationships’ in the interests of consumers, as part of the claim for relief.

The draft, and explanatory text (in German) are at:

In the Czech Republic, a class actions law was approved by the Chamber of Deputies last month, on April 10th 2024. It was submitted in August 2023 and is the second legislative proposal on the matter. It has proceeded to the Senate for consideration, and would enter into force on the first day of the month after official publication.

The text proposed a minimum of 20 consumers to pass the certification stage (which could be reduced), and opt-in is currently the position, although this is debated. Unlike in Austria, consumers may withdraw from proceedings. Third-party funding is subject to conditions such as independence.

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