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Author: Georg E. Kodek

IV. Sectoral Collective Redress Mechanisms in Austria

1. Labour Law

In labour law cases certain associations are entitled to bring actions for a declaratory judgment if the case concerns a question of employment law relevant for three or more employees.

2. Partial debentures

The only area where a truly collective redress mechanism exists are claims concerning certain bonds (Teilschuldverschreibungen - partial debentures). For these claims a statute of 1874, the Kuratorengesetz, provides for the appointment of a curator who represents the bond holders in court proceeedings and, possibly, in insolvency. While this statute is of considerable interest from a theoretical point of view, and, in part, served as a model for the proposed 2007 reform of civil procedure (discussed above), it seems that it is only used extremely rarely in practice. The reason for this is not that the procedure provided for by the statute was inadequate, but that all claims brought for unsuitable investment advice and related claims in the past involved other types of bonds or securities to which the statute does not apply. Accordingly, this statute need not concern us further.