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France: The EU Directive on representative actions

01 February 2023
France, Paris Small banner

Summary of legal landscape in France in relation to group actions.

France has not yet implemented the Directive 2020/1828 on Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers.

Group actions were introduced in France in 2014, first for consumers interests, and then in the fields of health, discrimination, employment relationships, data protection, and environmental damages.

The impact on defendants so far has been minimal: around thirty group actions have been initiated by consumer associations and just one of them led to the defendant's conviction.

The main obstacle to group actions in France is the strict interpretation of the procedural rules applicable to those actions.

The implementation in France of the EU Representative Action Directive 2020/1828 will undoubtedly give new impetus to group actions.

Has the directive been implemented in this jurisdiction?


Is the jurisdiction allowing for an opt-in or opt-out model?

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Brief description of major class action cases in France:

Group action initiated in 2017 against Sanofi – Depakine case

An association of women who were on Depakine during their pregnancy sued the pharmaceutical company Sanofi before the Paris civil court for the non-fulfilment of its obligations regarding the drug's risks information. Indeed, those women gave birth to children with deformities and neurodevelopmental disorders. On 5 January 2022, the group action was declared admissible and Sanofi was sentenced for having fail in its duty to inform the consumers and market a defective product.

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Further Reading