1. LEGAL FRAMEWORK 2003. Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 2007. Consumer Protection Act interrupted the collective redress continuity – implementation was delayed until Croatia joined EU 2008. Antidiscrimination Act 2009. Amendment to the CPA - collective redress was implemented in Croatia again 2011. Amendment to the Civil Procedure Act 2014. CPA 2014
2. TYPES OF COLLECTIVE REDRESS ASSOCIATTION AND INTEREST GROUP COMPLAINT (Verbandsklage) – complaint by which an association, non-profit entity set up for achieving specific socially admissible goals institute proceedings in order to protect specific and (as a rule) abstract rights and interests of its members or member or certain social group German model
2. TYPES OF COLLECTIVE REDRESS II ACTIO POPULARIS Art. 1047 (1) Civil Obligations Act Any person may request from another person to eliminate a major source of danger for him or for another person, as well as to refrain from activities causing nuisance or a risk of damage, if nuisance or damage cannot be prevented by applying appropriate measures condemnatory action active legitimation to legal action is given to everyone ; injunctive “ecological action”
3. COURT JURISDICTION Civil Procedure Act– does not in particular stipulate court jurisdiction CPA 2014 – Commercial courts - Art 10(1) a) where consumer rights have been infringed b) injurious consequences could have been manifested Antidiscrimination Act – County court – Art 24(3) a) of general local jurisdiction for the defendant b) where discrimination was committed c) County court of Zagreb
4. ACTIVE LEGITIMATION Pursuant to the provision of Art. 502a(1) of the Civil procedure Act associations, bodies, institutions or other entities set up in accordance with the law and that within the scope of their registered or by law defined activity deal with protection of legally established collective interests and rights of citizens can file action (collective redress action) where their competence is expressly provided by the law and under conditions provided by that law. Active legitimation must be stipulated by particular law Civil Procedure Act shall serve only as a subsidiary legal basis for proceedings in discriminatory or consumer CRA
4. ACTIVE LEGITIMATION II Art 107 (1) CPA 2014 „Competent bodies or persons having justifiable interest in collective redress such as consumer protection associations and government bodies for consumer protection“ Government of the Republic of Croatia shall by Ordinance appoint the bodies or persons to institute proceeding s for CR Thereby the persons competent to institute proceedings in collective redress are as follows: Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, State Inspector's Office, Electronic Media Agency, Ombudsman for Children, „Potroša č “- Croatian Union of Consumer Protection Associations, Union of Croatian Consumer Protection Asociations. The list is no longer up-to-date since State Inspector's Office was dissolved on 1st January 2014
6. OPT-OUT OR OPT-IN Croatia has chosen the association and interest groups action. It is an opt –out model. Members of a particular group do not have to take any action for setting up or other activities There are all able to invoke the effects of the decision reached in the course of the collective redress proceedings (not only member of Association – all consumer)
7. EFFECTS OF DECISION The Article 502 e of the ZZP provides that legal and natural persons can in particular lawsuits for damages invoke legal determination of the decision by which claims are accepted according to Art. 502a(1) that certain conduct including forbearance of the defendant infringes or endangers collective interests and rights of persons protected by law and defended by the claimant. In that case the determinations in the lawsuit in which this person shall invoke them are binding for the court. Art. 118 of the ZZP 14 provides that decisions reached in the proceedings for protection of collective rights of consumers are binding for other courts in proceedings instituted by the consumer personally for damages resulting from defendant's conduct.
8. DAMAGES Collective redress action has no compensatory character. It only establishes unlawful conduct of the injurer, which means that members of a particular group can be awarded damages only in potential individual lawsuits. In these individual lawsuits, if the decision is in their favour, they can invoke decisions from the proceedings for collective legal protection They can then attain their restitution claims, individually and depending on the damage sustained.
9. PRACTICE Case – Association POTROŠA Č - Croatian Consumer Protection Association Union against eight bank institutions. The action has been filed for alleged unlawful acts of the banks in contracting real estate Swiss franc loans and variable interest rate. The decision by which the claim of the Association was declared admissible has not been final yet. Since all eight bank institutions filed an appeal the High Commercial Court decision is pending.