[JURIST] The French Parliament [official website] has put off debate on whether to allow class action lawsuits [JURIST news archive] in the country's legal system after the French National Assembly [official website] struck proposed legislation from its February schedule in a push to get out other bills before the close of parliamentary sessions. The class action legislation was introduced at a cabinet meeting in November [JURIST report] by French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Thierry Breton [official profile, in French], and would have been heard by the National Assembly on February 6. It will now await possible reconsideration by the incoming government after French presidential and legislative elections later this year.
Currently, an association can collectively represent French consumers, but each claimant must be named individually in a lawsuit. Class actions would still only have been brought by national consumer associations and could not have concerned goods or services valued over 2000 euros ($2,550) or health-related issues. French President Jacques Chirac [BBC profile; official profile, in French] advocated for class actions last January, urging his government to fill the gap in consumer rights while avoiding the alleged class action abuses of the American legal system. In September, France's Competition Council [official website, in French] recommended the establishment of class action lawsuits [AFX report] to counterbalance abuses by powerful companies. AP has more.