News & Events

Minister Burke welcomes the signing of regulations which transpose the Representative Actions Directive into Irish law

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Peter Burke TD, has today welcomed the signing of regulations which will fully transpose the Representative Actions Directive (EU) 2020/1828, into Irish law.

The Directive ensures that groups of consumers can now protect their collective interests for an infringement of their consumer rights both in here in Ireland and in the EU, through a representative action.

Announcing the signing of the regulations, Minister Burke TD said:

“This new legislation will improve consumers’ access to justice and redress. In particular, it will help groups of consumers whose rights have been breached, either at home in Ireland or in another European country. The legislation allows for a designated Qualified Entity to take a case to the High Court, on behalf of a group of consumers.

“Up until now, Ireland had no mechanism for collective redress. This new legislation will greatly strengthen the consumer’s position by allowing them to act together with representation from a Qualified Entity.

“Collective redress in Ireland will, however, be different to the US class actions system, as only designated not-for-profit, consumer advocacy entities will be able to take a case on behalf of consumers. This will contribute to preventing opportunistic litigation.”

Minister of State, Dara Calleary TD said:

“This legislation is a welcome development. Not only is it the first legislation of its type in Ireland, it will also significantly improve consumers’ access to justice across many areas, like financial services, travel and tourism, energy and telecommunications and healthcare.”

Note for Editors:

The Representative Actions Act allows consumers to seek collective redress or remedy for an alleged infringement of their consumer rights by traders.

It is the first legislation of its type in Ireland. It allows for an organisation that has been designated as Qualified Entity (QE) to take an action before the High Court, on behalf of a group of consumers whose consumer rights, as listed in the Act, have been breached, either here in Ireland or in other Member States, by unlawful practices by traders.

Representative actions may be brought on behalf of groups of consumers who may seek:

  • injunctive measures, which will stop a trader’s unlawful practices,
  • redress measures, such as refund, replacement, repair, or
  • both injunctive and redress measures

The Act applies to both domestic and cross-border infringements.

There are a number of forms that must be used in conjunction with the Act, and they are set out in the Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers Act 2023 (Prescribed Forms) Regulations 2024.

Qualified Entities (QEs) may charge consumers who may wish to join a representative action, a modest fee. However, the maximum fee that may be charged is €25 per consumer per representative action.

Further information:

  • Not-for-profit organisations that have been involved in the consumer protection sector will be able to apply, from today, to the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for designation as Qualified Entities. Their designation will allow them to use the procedural mechanism for Representative Actions.
  • Collective redress can be used for both domestic and cross border cases. This means that a QE can be designated to initiate either a domestic or a cross-border action.
  • QEs designated in other Member States of the EU may apply to the High Court to launch a representative action in Ireland against a trader established here in the State.
  • Traders will enjoy the same legal rights and protections as they do in any other civil legal proceeding.
  • There will be provision in the collective redress system to facilitate an out of court engagement for a qualified entity and a trader if they can negotiate an informal resolution to their grievance.