Class/collective actions in Russia: overview
- Author: Irina Akimova
- Date: 23.09.2015
Overview of class/collective actions and current trends
Definition of class/collective actions
There is not a concept of class or collective action as such. However, there are legal mechanisms that can be and are used to protect a group of persons, which are initially aimed at simplifying the conduct of proceedings for judges. It allows claims to be considered in a single process where they are similar in substance.
There is no direct definition of this mechanism in the legislation. Based on the interpretation of the rules, it can be formulated as "the right of a person to appeal in court to protect violated or disputed rights and legitimate interests of other persons that are parties to the same relations".
Use of class/collective actions
Currently, the use of class action is not widespread. This is due to the imperfection of the mechanism for the use of class action. Considering that these mechanisms are primarily designed to facilitate the process for the judges, they have not been popular among the public.
Currently, there are a few class or collective actions against government agencies, financial companies and pharmaceutical companies, as well as collective actions that are complaints of minority shareholders.
Most frequently, a class action is used in:
Disputes related to activities of professional participants of the securities market.
Class actions are commonly used for both:
In recent years, special non-governmental organisations have emerged and provided information on the possible use of class actions to the public. Through these organisations, a group of claimants can be formed for filing a class or collective action.
Principal sources of law
The main sources of law are the:
Civil Procedural Code.
Arbitration Procedural Code.
Federal Law No.135-FZ on protection of competition dated 26 July 2006.
Law No.2300-1 on consumer protection dated 7 February 1992.
Federal Law No.208-FZ on joint stock companies dated 26 December 1995.
The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare and the Federal Anti-Trust Service can:
Examine complaints from consumers.
Impose a fine.
The civil courts and courts of arbitration can examine cases on damages in favour of consumers.
The public prosecutor can apply to the court to protect consumers.
Claims by shareholders are combined when filing a lawsuit in court.
For consumer protection, consumers generally turn to the state authorities regarding the violation. Consumers then turn to the courts to recover damages. However, consumers can also go directly to court, but then the burden of proof is on the consumers.
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