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Law Commission of Ontario Launches Final Report: Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, July 17, 2019 – The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today releases the final report, Class Actions: Objectives, Experience, and Reforms.
The LCO report is the first independent, comprehensive assessment of Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act (CPA) in 27 years. Since that time, class actions have grown dramatically in volume, complexity and impact in Ontario and across Canada.
Project Background and Summary
The LCO’s project had two main objectives:
  • Survey the experience with class actions in Ontario; and
  • Provide an independent and practical analysis of class actions from the perspective of their three primary objectives:  access to justice, judicial economy, and deterrence.
The LCO report makes 47 recommendations to reform the CPA and related policies. The recommendations address a broad cross-section of issues, including the process for initiating a class action, certification, settlement approval and distribution, counsel fees, costs and reporting on class actions.
The report’s major themes include:
  • The CPA needs wide-ranging reforms to better fulfill class actions’ promise to improve access to justice, foster judicial efficiency, and promote behaviour modification
  • The CPA should be amended to reflect contemporary class action issues and practice
  • The speed and cost of class actions should be improved significantly
  • Dormant, copycat, de minimis and extortionate class actions should be weeded out
  • Class members’ interests should be better protected
  • Counsel fees and settlements should be scrutinized and justified more effectively
  • Certification should become more streamlined and decided quickly and efficiently
  • Class action cost rules should be amended;
  • The justice system – and the public – needs new tools to ensure class actions are effective, transparent and legitimate.
The LCO project is based on the most extensive research and comprehensive consultations of class actions ever undertaken in Canada. 
Andrew Pinto, Chair of Law Commission of Ontario, states: “Class actions have become one of the most high-profile and far-reaching legal procedures in the Canadian justice system.  The LCO report is the first comprehensive and independent review of Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act over 25 years.  The report’s 47 recommendations represent a necessary and important update to this very significant piece of legislation.”
About the Law Commission of Ontario
The LCO is Ontario’s leading law reform agency.  The LCO provides independent, balanced and authoritative advice on some of Ontario’s most complex and far-reaching legal policy issues.  The LCO is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, Osgoode Hall Law School, the Law Society of Ontario and York University.  The LCO is also supported by Ontario’s law schools. The LCO is located at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.  
More Information
More information about the project and the LCO is available on the LCO’s website at www.lco-cdo.org.
Media Contact
Nye Thomas
Executive Director, Law Commission of Ontario
athomas@lco-cdo.org
416-402-7267
www.lco-cdo.org
To read online, please click here.