Law Commission Gathers Data On Class Action Effectiveness

One year ago today, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) released the list of issues to be considered by its Class Actions Advisory Group. As we noted, the list of issues includes, among others:

Filling The Information Gap

One of the big challenges in evaluating the effectiveness of class action procedures in Ontario is the lack of accurate data about class actions. Over the last year, the Advisory Group has made progress in collecting data to statistically evaluate class action activities. For example:

  • The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice provided funding for students who compiled a database containing information about the nearly 600 cases commenced since 1993. We understand this database includes information about the number and outcome of motions, trials and appeals in each case as well as the length of time to complete each process.
  • The LCO called for Research Proposals to provide empirical evidence of take-up rates in class actions in Ontario, including identification and analysis of key factors that influence such rates, from 2003 to 2013. The final research paper is due on April 15, 2015.

What's Next?

Given the Supreme Court of Canada's clear direction that parties should focus on resolving the substance of disputes efficiently and effectively (see our post desribing the impact of Hyrniak and Sattva for example), the Advisory Group's report - and the data it contains - can't come too soon.