Over the course of the last few decades, class actions have gone from being an essentially American phenomenon to one that is truly international. Class actions have also transcended the common law world and have been adopted by civilian jurisdictions and by “mixed law” jurisdictions such as Quebec and South Africa. In the following article, the authors examine how this unique form of complex litigation has been developed by the courts of South Africa and applied in the context of a recent silicosis case brought against the gold mining industry. The authors proceed to analyze the case — and the issues to which it gives rise — from the standpoint of Quebec law and civil procedure. This analysis shows that while important distinctions exist between Quebec and South Africa, the two mixed law jurisdictions are also quite similar when it comes to class actions and have much to learn from one another.
Class Actions and the “Mixed Law” Regimes That Have Embraced Them: A Comparative Reflection on Class Actions in the South African and Quebec Legal Systems
Monique Pansegrouw, Shaun E Finn