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Collective Redress and Opt-out System - Some Remarks from the Portuguese Legal System

Maria Elisabete Gomes Ramos

The EU Antitrust Damages Actions Directive does not include provisions on collective redress. Each of the EU member states remains free to provide national regulation on that subject. The Portuguese legal system provides regulation on actio popularis since 1995. The "rational apathy" of each consumer may lead to a non-reparation of the damages and be a significant benefit for the company who breaches the law. The Portuguese legal system follows the opt-out model. On one hand the paper analyses the opt-out model, the rules on standing, certification, fees and vigilance held by the Court and the Public Prosecutor. One other hand the paper identifies the controversial aspects of the actio popularis and suggests some changes in matter of distribution of the compensation among the injured consumers. The Portuguese experience may inspire other legal systems who want to promote the full compensation of mass damages caused by competition infringements.

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