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France

Author: Duncan Fairgrieve and Alexandre Biard

III. General Collective Redress Mechanisms

The action de groupe is not set up as a horizontal collective redress mechanism. It is provided for as a specific mechanism in the various sectors mentioned above, and there is no over-arching, generic, procedure applying to all sectors. Instead, over a period of time, legislation has been enacted in an ad-hoc manner so as to allow for collective redress mechanisms in different sectors. It is however to be noted that under recently enacted legislation, a common set of procedural rules have been adopted under the Law on the modernisation of 21st Century Justice of 12 October 2016, which establishes a common set of rules applying to the various sectoral-based collective redress mechanism, except for the consumer cases, which remain subject to specific rules deriving from the 2014 Hamon Law. Even under those cases falling under the 2016 Law are subject to certain different rules : for instance, in case of the collective redress mechanism for breach of data protection rules, only injunctive remedy is available and not damages (see below). The Collective Redress mechanism in France still remains a sectoral-based asymmetrical procedure.

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