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Collective redress has gained momentum in Europe and North America. Legal reforms are driven by different institutional conditions but show a limited degree of convergence. The seventeen contributions from the US, Canada and from the Member States of the European Union (East and West) put the interplay of public enforcement and private collective judicial enforcement into perspective.
The parameters of analysis are the constitutional dimension (the multi-level systems of the US, EC and Canada are comapredboth vertically - allocation of powers between levels and distinction between regulation and private law and administrative control versus judicial control - and horizontally - degree of harmonisation, transborder litigation, choice of law), the institutional dimension (the regulatory players, and judges, private organisation and lawyers) and the substantive dimension (regulation through administrative law versus regulation through tort or contract law, standard setting). These three parameters are then broken down into five sections: general comparison, the public/private enforcement divide, remedies concerning the distinction between injunction and damages as well as between class actions and group actions, negotiation and adjudication, transborder litigation and international private law. The final chapter develops prospects to indicate the way ahead.