Spain: What will the new collective actions for the protection of consumers’ rights and interests involve and how will they be heard?
The first draft bill on representative actions for the protection of consumers’ collective interests provides for the creation of a special proceeding and promotes the use of tools, such as electronic platforms, as a means of enabling a smoother hearing process and direct and simple access for consumers.
In the near future, the collective protection of consumers will undergo a far-reaching transformation and enhancement process brought about by Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2020 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and its transposition, as contained in the draft bill on representative actions for the protection of consumers’ collective interests. The directive requires the provisions transposing it to have been adopted by December 25, 2022 and to apply to actions brought on or after June 25, 2023. In this regard, on December 20, 2022 the government approved the draft bill and recently published its contents, which have been laid before parliament.
Although the option of bringing collective action on consumer matters already exists in Spanish law, which covers both injunction and redress actions, the projected provisions will entail a significant step forward in this area, will foreseeably resolve the difficulties and shortfalls arising from the current legislation, and will shape collective protection as a genuine form of special protection.
In particular, it sets out the creation of a special proceeding governed by rules that will be included as a new Title IV, in Book IV of the Civil Procedure Law 1/2000 (LEC). Additionally, it provides for the use of tools aligned with current times, such as electronic platforms, enabling a smoother hearing process for claims and direct and simple access for consumers and users.
In this document is a preliminary analysis of the projected provisions.