The Law Reform Commission published a report on 28 May 2012, proposing that a mechanism for class actions should be adopted in Hong Kong. The proposal was put forward after careful and thorough consideration of the responses to the Commission's consultation paper.
The Commission believed that the introduction of a comprehensive regime for class action would enhance access to justice and would provide an efficient, well-defined and workable mechanism.
In a class action, a representative plaintiff sues on behalf of himself and all the other persons ("the class") who have a claim in respect of the same (or a similar) alleged wrong, and whose claims raise the same questions of law or fact.
The Commission recommended phasing the implementation of a class action regime by starting with consumer cases, which would bring within the net, potentially the largest segment (or even the majority) of cases suited to class actions. This cautious approach was to avoid the risk of unduly encouraging litigation.
Another merit of this incremental approach is to allow the court system and the community to gain experience in this new type of procedure. In the light of experience gained, the Administration can assess whether and when the regime should be extended to other types of cases.
Once experience is accumulated in the funding of class actions by the Consumer Legal Action Fund, then a general class action fund extended to actions outside the ambit of the Consumer Council could be considered if the proposed regime is extended to other types of cases.
The report can be browsed at this website. Hard copies are available on request from the Commission's Secretariat at 20/F Harcourt House, 39 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
|Press Release (PDF) (MS Word)|
|Executive Summary (PDF) (MS Word)|
|Report (PDF) (MS Word)|