Press Release on the Government's proposal regarding Class Actions

(Adnkronos) – Rome, 11 December 2008 – Fondazione Etica has examined the government's proposals for amending the discipline of the collective action for compensation, the Italian class action. The government project adopts, explains Fondazione Etica, precisely the expression "class action" and reconfigures the institute in order to make it more adherent to the scheme experimented in the United States, thanks to which access to justice is allowed in simplified collective forms which can be described with a metaphor: the collective action is, compared to the traditional individual actions, comparable to a bus transport instead of a taxi towards judicial protection. ”However -observes Fondazione Etica- the government's project also considerably restricts the scope of application of the law: on the one hand, excluding the financial scandals that occurred up to the end of 2007; on the other, by providing that the collective action can be adopted only when the sums to be paid in favor of the members of the group concerned are identical. This interpretation of the text is not inevitable, but if it were to assert itself, the functionality of the institution would be greatly compromised". As noted by Prof. Andrea Giussani, member of the scientific committee of the Foundation, one of the leading Italian experts in the sector and author of the first Italian monograph on the subject in 1996, "if this were the case of the collective means of transport, already structured more than like a bus like a tram, forced to travel only on pre-established tracks (given that the action is admitted only if the judge believes from the outset that it can be successful), would even become a vehicle completely devoid of a steering wheel, unable to adapt to routes that require even just slight changes in direction: it could work
only straight ahead, and it would help little to improve traffic on the streets of civil justice".