Whatever deficits remain in the Canadian project to make justice available to all, class actions have been heralded as a success. The theme of access to justice runs throughout the discourse on collective litigation, but what do access and justice mean in this context?
Class actions have been employed over the past several decades to overcome barriers for those who would otherwise have no recourse to the courts. Class Actions in Canada critically and empirically examines whether mass litigation is meeting this primary goal. First proposing a conceptualization that moves beyond mere access to a court procedure, leading expert Jasminka Kalajdzic then methodically assesses survey data and case studies to determine how class action practice fulfills or falls short of its objectives.
With class actions becoming increasingly controversial in the United States and collective redress mechanisms being cautiously adopted elsewhere, this is a timely exploration of collective litigation in Canada.
1 The Facts: Survey Results
2 The Facts: Two Case Studies
3 Access to Justice
4 Selecting Cases
Jasminka Kalajdzic is an associate professor and former associate dean of law at the University of Windsor and has a background in private practice as a civil litigator. She is the editor of Accessing Justice: Appraising Class Actions Ten Years after Dutton, Hollick & Rumley and co-author, with Warren K. Winkler, Paul M. Perell, and Alison Warner, of The Law of Class Actions in Canada. She is also the co-lead researcher of the Law Commission of Ontario’s Class Actions Project.