Foreword by the Editorial Board

Authors M.V.E.E. de Monchy, I.N. Tzankova, J. Kortmann, D. Fairgrieve, T. Schreiber

With due pride we are delighted to present this First Edition of the new journal, Mass Claims: an International Journal with a European Focus. It has been quite a journey, bringing together many established and motivated experts in the field, all triggered by the same desire to capture this new and evolving field of law in one international journal. Let us start with a short recap on how we arrived at this point.


The legal landscape is continuously evolving, reflecting a rapidly changing society. Problems that arise are often no longer confined to one single jurisdiction. One can easily see the common denominators in issues related to, for example, the rise of social media and digital platforms or the emerging climate and environmental litigation. Albeit impacted by national systems, those issues require collective and global responses. With the help of funders and online platforms, people unite and join forces. As a result, the foundation stone for mass claims was laid.


Although mass claims have now gained an initial foothold in Europe, this has not (yet) come close to the traditional systems in the US, Canada or Israel. Frameworks are still being created, both at the level of the EU legislator and within individual member states. Judges acknowledge consistency issues between jurisdictions and an increasing need to seek cross-border alignment. A prominent  judge has recently proposed the creation of a European court, but we are far removed from such an institution becoming a reality. We need to tackle the challenges which mass claims bring to date and find sustainable solutions. We see merit in an open approach and cooperation: thereby reaping the rewards of a mature system and also learning from other European jurisdictions. This journal seeks to facilitate that journey. Together with legal practitioners, academics, judges, funders, economic experts and many others, we dive into the complexities involving mass claims. We address the challenges from different angles and offer a multi-jurisdictional perspective, all of which are aimed at filling a gap in the legal landscape, and focused on what we can achieve in this evolving field of the law.


It may have been for that reason that we received so many enthusiastic responses when approaching leading figures to join this project. We are honoured that so many renowned and well-respected judges and academics from around the world have joined our Advisory Board. For each edition, a different member of the Advisory Board will present their own personal views and perspectives on mass claims, and we sincerely recommend Deborah Hensler's 'Welcome Word' in this First Edition to you. We are equally honored by the impressive list of national and special rapporteurs that have committed themselves to this journal. Together we will ensure that all relevant recent developments throughout Europe are captured in each edition, while also keeping an eye on developments beyond the frontiers of Europe.   


And so, fast forward to today. After a year of discussions, brainstorming and admittedly some 'trial and error', we finally have the very First Edition in front of us. This volume, just as the subsequent editions, will cover a variety of topics, approached from either an academic or more practical angle. The publications in this First Edition cover topics such as an elaborate discussion of the UK Supreme Court's Merricks judgment, both from a legal and economic perspective; an analysis of the impact of GDPR on mass claims from a multi-jurisdictional perspective; an interview with the Commissioner Jourová about the Collective Redress Directive; and views from judges across Europe on complex multi-party mass claims. Just as with each edition, we will conclude with country reports that capture the most significant recent relevant developments in the field of mass claims from throughout Europe.


We thank all the people who contributed to this First Edition and we thank you, our readers, for being on this journey with us. We sincerely look forward to energetic debates and stimulating discussions with you.  And we encourage you to submit inspiring submissions for publication. Together we will make this a great success. We can't wait!

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