Analysis of the Preliminary Draft Law on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, which the Council of Ministers approved on December 20, 2022. This Law involves the transposition of Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers.
The Draft Bill on Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers brings new developments in the field of collective actions, which we now refer to as representative actions.
The Directive guarantees that all the Member States of the European Union have a collective protection mechanism in place for the protection of the interests of consumers and users at the request of the entities legally empowered to do so.
The draft bill adapts the existing Spanish procedure to the idiosyncrasy of class actions. Although in Spain there are some mechanisms for the defense of collective interests, it is true that there is a wide range of regulations (Law 34/1988, of November 11, 1988, General Advertising Law, Law 3/1991, of January 10, 1991, on Unfair Competition, or Law 7/1998, of April 13, 1998, on general contracting conditions) and therefore a need to improve the existing system.
As indicated in the Preamble, it was the Civil Procedure Law that “addressed the reality of the protection of collective legal interests, which are brought to the process, not only by those who have been directly injured, but also by legal entities constituted and legally authorized to defend those interests“. But no special process or procedure was considered necessary. The Directive neither designs a collective procedure nor articulates the phases of the procedural structure, but indicates that the Member States are responsible for this configuration of the procedure.
The preliminary draft implements these changes, the most important novelty of which is the design of a special procedure for the exercise of representative actions for damages, on the basis that the process and its outcome will be binding on all those affected by the unlawful conduct unless they explicitly request their dissociation.
We explain the new process below. Download document: Anteproyecto de ley acciones de representación.