The Act on Collective Damages in Class Actions (WAMCA), which entered into force on 1 January 2020, enhanced the possibilities for class actions in the Netherlands. Our colleagues Huib Schrama and Marit Bosselaar take you through the first year’s main developments in their article in the Dutch journal TOP.
The WAMCA introduces a powerful weapon for claim organizations: a claim for monetary compensation. The WAMCA also introduces stricter admissibility requirements for claim organizations and a state-of-the-art lead plaintiff system, bearing resemblance to the US lead plaintiff system. For more general information on the WAMCA please see our previous news item.
Based on the class action register (which was also introduced by the WAMCA), almost twenty class actions have been initiated under the WAMCA in 2020. Actions include claims for (more) ideological purposes such as privacy/data protection, copyright and government policy, but also commercial class actions for monetary compensation. Please see our news item on the first class actions under the WAMCA.
In their article, Huib and Marit highlight the main developments under the WAMCA in its first year. Read an abstract from the article from Huib and Marit below or click here for the full version (Dutch only).
The Dutch legislator has left room for the additional rules to develop in practice. There has been (some) debate on the temporal scope of the WAMCA – although it has taken effect as per 1 January 2020, its scope may extend to prior facts – and on several other procedural issues like admissibility and links with pre-WAMCA class actions on a similar topic. In one of the diesel emissions class actions, the first ‘beauty contest’ between competing claim organizations may unfold. Research also shows that the order/course of the preliminary phase(s) of the proceedings has yet to crystalize. More material topics, such as how the court should actually deal with collective claims for monetary compensation, have received little attention so far. All in all, it is too early to tell whether the WAMCA will live up to its promises and lead to an improved playing field for collective redress. We will keep track of relevant developments in this field closely.