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This article fills a critical gap in the commentary by undertaking a rights-based analysis of the various issues that arise in cases involving large-scale international litigation, focusing in particular on the Brussels I Regulation and what may be called ‘individual participatory rights’. In so doing, the discussion considers the nature and scope of individual participatory rights in collective litigation as well the ways in which these rights should be weighed and considered. Although the analysis is set in the context of European procedural law, this discussion is of equal relevance to parties outside the European Union, either because they will face similar issues in their own legal systems (since individual participatory rights are relevant to all sorts of class and collective actions) or because they will become involved in European collective actions by virtue of the extraterritorial reach of the Brussels I Regulation. This article also contains several normative suggestions on how policymakers in the European Union should consider and construct future legislation in this field.



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