On 19 March 2019, the Dutch Senate approved the legislative proposal that introduces collective actions for damages under article 3:305a of the Dutch Civil Code (DCC). As the legislative proposal did not give rise to any debate in the Senate, it was passed without a vote.
The legislative proposal will have a significant impact on the litigation climate in the Netherlands (and arguably in the rest of Europe). It broadens the scope of article 3:305a DCC so as to enable collective actions for monetary damages on an “opt-out” basis, which is currently not possible. The legislative proposal further includes provisions that are intended to introduce checks and balances to prevent unmeritorious litigation and provisions that are intended to enhance the efficiency of the proceedings. For more detailed information regarding the legislative proposal see the previously published Overview of the Legislative Proposal on Collective Action by Jeroen Kortmann.
Once enacted, the legislative proposal will be known as the Act on the Resolution of Mass Claims in Collective Action (Wet Afwikkeling Massaschade in Collectieve Actie) (WAMCA). The date of entry into force of the WAMCA is still to be announced, but is expected to be 1 July 2019. The WAMCA will apply to collective actions for damages initiated on or after the date of its entry into force that relate to “events” that occurred on or after 15 November 2016 (the day the draft legislative proposal was submitted to the Dutch House of Representatives). The current and more limited scope of article 3:305a DCC will continue to apply to actions that relate to events that took place before 15 November 2016.