Dispute Resolution - Class Actions

See Chinese version below [中文版参阅下文]

Class proceedings are procedural mechanisms designed to facilitate and regulate the assertion of group claims. Almost all Canadian provinces have class proceedings legislation. In provinces without such legislation, representative actions may be brought at common law.

Canadian class action statutes are modeled closely on Rule 23 of the United States Federal Court Rules of Civil Procedure, which, together with its state counterparts, governs class action litigation in the United States. Unlike ordinary actions, a proceeding commenced on behalf of a class may be litigated as a class action only if it is judicially approved or “certified.” Generally, the bar for certification in Canada is lower than in the United States.

In Canada, common targets of class actions include product manufacturers, insurers, employers, companies in the investment and financial industries and governments. Class actions may involve allegations of product liability, misrepresentation, breaches of consumer and employment laws, competition law (e.g. antitrust) breaches, securities fraud and breaches of public law.

Class actions are becoming an increasingly prominent aspect of business litigation in Canada. Businesses may benefit from the fact that individual damage awards tend to be lower in Canada than in the United States. In addition, the availability of punitive damages is limited in Canada.

集体诉讼是一种解决集团债权要求的诉讼程序机制。几乎加拿大所有省份都有集体诉讼的立法。在没有集体诉讼立法的省份,代表性的诉讼案可以通过普通法展开。

加拿大集体诉讼法以《美国联邦法院民事诉讼规则》第23条为蓝本,在美国,集体诉讼依照该联邦规则与各州的同类法律进行。集体诉讼与普通诉讼程序不同,代表一个集体提起的诉讼程序,只有获得司法批准或“认证”时,才能按照集体诉讼进行。一般而言,加拿大的认证门槛要低于美国。

在加拿大,集体诉讼的常见被告包括产品制造商、保险公司、雇主、投资和金融行业的公司以及政府部门。集体诉讼可能涉及产品责任、虚伪陈述、违反消费者和就业的法律、违反竞争法(即反垄断)、证券欺诈和对公法的违反。

在加拿大,集体诉讼正在成为一项日益突出的商务诉讼。在加拿大,个人损害赔偿往往要比美国低,企业可能从中受益。此外,在加拿大适用惩罚性赔偿的情形有限。

 

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