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The legal status of the class members during the group litigation

Journal: RUDN Journal of Law (Vol.27, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 1065-1078

Keywords : class action; group litigation; plaintiff for the class action; class members; decision on a class action; legal effectiveness; legal procedural relations in group proceedings; group certification;

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The study discusses certain rules of group litigation in the civil procedure in the context of the legal status of class members in procedural relations. Attention is paid to the rights and obligations of the person who applies to court with a request to protect the rights and legitimate interests of a group of members. Participants in a class action include the person conducting the case (plaintiff-representative) and group members who joined the collective claim. The comparative legal method and teleological interpretation allow to conclude that there are active procedural relations only between the court and the claimant-representative, which predetermines the possibility of performing administrative actions, proving and appealing judicial acts only by the plaintiff, but not by the other claimants. The extremely curtailed scope of powers of the group members is justified by their voluntary joining a class action lawsuit. Relations within a group of persons are substantive in nature; this allows to highlight the necessity of appropriate private material mechanisms to satisfy the interests of the majority of participants under the rules on decisions in meetings. In view of the possibility of consolidating in a class homogeneous but different in size substantive claims of the group members we believe it is essential to establish the majority criterion, regardless of the price of the claim of each member. The research also reveals the contradiction in legal regulation in the event of a refusal to certify a group of persons after the initiation of proceedings on a class action in civil, arbitration and administrative litigation, substantiates the inexpediency of leaving a class action without consideration, and the need to consider personal claims of group members and allocate relevant cases in a separate production, as provided for in the Arbitration (Commercial) Procedure Code of the Russian Federation. Attention is drawn to the gaps in the legal regulation of group proceedings in terms of establishing the amount and procedure for paying the state fee.

Last modified: 2023-12-02 18:02:47