Class Actions: Do they Pass the Test of Improving the Efficiency of Justice through Scale Economies? (1:31:57)

11 am – 12:30 pm  Class Actions: Do they Pass the Test of Improving the Efficiency of Justice through Scale Economies?

As the overview for this conference outlines, there is a dearth of data on judicial activity in Canada in all sectors of judicial activity and litigation, including class actions. In fact, apart from the limited and rather informal data gathered by the provinces’ superior court class action judges, the class action courts and bar association registers, and informal (often more impressionistic) numbers circulating within the class action bar and among judges, there is no true, reliable portrait of class action activity in Canada. Accordingly, we do not know if our class action system is truly effective, fair and efficient, and we cannot determine how the law should move forward, evolve and be reformed. Often, the development of law reforms is based on inaccurate data and the absence of a documented monitoring system of implemented reforms makes for an imprecise, opaque system of civil justice. The class actions sector is no exception. The following questions will be addressed: which cases serve to provide true access to justice and which ones just “are not worth it”; how may we evaluate and understand class action activity, as well as the accomplishment of the action’s objectives? Are the objectives of class compensation and deterrence being met? Which factors serve to impact the accomplishment of these objectives positively or negatively? How should we evaluate the success of class actions and of their settlements? How useful is this information for judges and lawyers?


  • Professor Martine Valois, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal


  • Professor Emeritus Ejan Mackaay, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal: Laying Foundational Principles
  • The Honourable Justice Paul Perell, Ontario Superior Court, Toronto: Economic Lessons Learned and to be Learned from Class Actions
  • Professor Catherine Piché, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal: Developing a Framework to Determine Whether a Class Action is Economical