In light of an increase in mass litigation, a draft for a group procedure was produced by the Austrian Ministry of Justice in 2007. Under the draft, a new group proceeding will be introduced for cases involving three or more claimants and a large number (probably more than 50) claims and similar questions of law and fact. However, a claimant is always free to pursue his claims as an individual action instead of participating in the group proceeding. The court decides on all common questions of fact and law by judgment. Any questions not resolved in the group proceeding have to be determined in individual lawsuits. The draft was met with severe resistance by the Chamber of Commerce and, consequently, the Conservative Party. Given the present political situation (a coalition government of Social Democrats and Conservatives), implementation of the reform is unlikely in the near future.
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