Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Abstract

Recent years have seen an unprecedented expansion of the ability to assert large-scale claims in national judicial systems, either on a collective or representative (class) basis. Numerous countries, including many that excoriated United States-style class actions in the past, have now adopted various forms of collective redress as society's need to respond large-scale claims has increased. Although every jurisdiction has developed its own unique method of responding to large-scale legal injuries, there appears to be a growing consensus that contemporary legal systems require some means of responding to widespread harm involving the same or similar facts. Not every jurisdiction has adopted this view, however. One country the Republic of Ireland-has resisted the development of large-scale forms of judicial relief, despite several instances where such a mechanism would have been useful. The most recent of these disputes, Gaffney v. DePuy, involves over 1000 claims relating to defective hip implants. The dispute is so extensive that the Irish High Court has estimated that the claims will not be fully resolved until 2022 if the dispute remains in the judicial system.' As a result, the court, working with the parties, has approved the use of an extremely innovative alternative dispute resolution mecchanism to resolve the claims in a more efficient, just and orderly manner.

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