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Representative Actions Act

Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers Act 2023.

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. 

The Act aims to protect the collective interests of consumers across many areas, like data protection, financial services, travel and tourism, energy and telecommunications, environment, life sciences, healthcare and aviation.

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
  • both injunctive and redress measures 

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

Qualified entities

A qualified entity (QE) is a body representing consumers’ interests and has been designated as a QE by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment or by another Member State.

In order to be designated as a QE, an organisation or body must meet specified criteria and submit an application to the Minister.

The QE must be a legal person with a non-profit character whose main purpose is one that demonstrates that it has a legitimate interest in protecting consumer interests, in addition to meeting other criteria, all of which is set out in the form at Part 1 – see forms below.

Once designated, a QE may bring representative actions before the High Court in Ireland and before the appropriate bodies in other EU Member States, on behalf of consumers seeking either an injunction, redress, or both, against a trader for breach of one of the provisions of EU and Irish consumer protection law set out in Schedule 1 of the Act.

The department is obliged to maintain and publish a Register of QEs designated in Ireland. A link to the Register of Qualified Entities is provided below. 

Register of Qualified Entities

Becoming part of a representative action against a trader 

A consumer wishing to opt-in to a representative action must complete the form at Part 3 below – Notification by Consumers to be Represented by a Qualified Entity for Redress Measures under Section 24 and send it to the QE taking the action. 

A consumer who informs a QE of their request to be represented and has paid the requisite entry fee if required:

  •  will be bound by the outcome of the action
  • cannot be represented in any other action against the same trader with the same complaint
  • cannot bring an individual action against the same trader for the same complaint

In turn a QE shall inform consumers of any determination made by the Court as to the validity of the action or the outcome of the decision on the validity of the action, using the forms 4 and 4A respectively. 

Cost of joining a representative action 

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. 

Register of representative actions undertaken or underway 

Each QE is obliged by the Act to publish on their website details of the representative actions they have brought before the High Court or brought in another Member State. The department has a published list of all representative actions undertaken by registered QEs and a link to the Register of Representative Actions is provided below. 

Register of Representative Actions 

Forms for use in connection with the Representative Actions Act

Forms for use in connection with the Representative Actions Act


A full version of the Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers Act 2023 can be found on the Irish Statute website.