Notes and Changes

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Cover page of Michael Molavi's book.

‘Class action reform is a work in progress. Molavi’s book is an important addition to the debate. It repays careful reading by all engaged in the subject.’ - John Sorabji, University College London 

Around the world today, calls for increasing access to justice are omnipresent. Justice stakeholders have observed at length that the capacity of people to access justice is paramount in our increasingly ‘law-thick’ societies. Despite the breadth of the current justice agenda, however, and the commitment of stakeholders to find innovative ways of addressing justice gaps, a consistent unifying theme that runs throughout this commitment has been its individuated focus. Research and reforms have tended to be guided by the belief that justiciable problems affect individuals and thus require individuated solutions. Michael Molavi's book 'Collective Access to Justice: Assessing the Potential of Class Actions in England and Wales' seeks to advance this agenda by exploring the importance of collective access to justice. At a time when the collective redress landscape is undergoing a period of transformative change, this important and timely research focuses on class actions in England and Wales, drawing on comparative procedural, political, and historical analysis of relevant regimes and economic analysis of key enablers. With a view towards offering progressive solutions for reform and promoting greater accessibility, this book takes on board the principles of plain language and accessible writing by offering a readable analysis of the role of the modern class action as a collective claims-making vehicle for vulnerable justice-seekers.  

Author

Photo of Michael Molavi.
Michael Molavi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford. His post is funded by the Legal Education Foundation. An interdisciplinary scholar, Michael’s research focuses on access to justice, collective actions, and the broader uses of law for human rights and environmental mobilisation.  

Panellists 

Photo of Andrew Higgins.
Andrew Higgins is an Associate Professor in Civil Procedure at the Law Faculty and a Fellow in Law at Mansfield College. A leading scholar on class actions, he is currently General Editor of Civil Justice Quarterly and the academic member of the Civil Justice Council. The CJC is an advisory public body which was established under the Civil Procedure Act 1997 with responsibility for overseeing and co-ordinating the modernisation of the civil justice system.  

Photo of Joe Tomlinson.
Joe Tomlinson is a Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of York. Prior to joining York in 2019, he held lectureships in Public Law at King’s College London and the University of Sheffield. Joe is also Research Director of the Public Law Project—a national legal charity, based in London, which seeks to improve access to public law for the poor and disadvantaged.  

Photo of Duncan Fairgrieve.
Duncan Fairgrieve is Senior Research Fellow in Comparative Law and Director of the Product Liability Forum at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He is also Professor of Comparative Law at Université de Paris Dauphine in France. Duncan is a leading comparative lawyer and notable expert on collective actions, with research interests spanning both comparative private and public law. 

A photo of Suzanne Chiodo.
Suzanne Chiodo is an Assistant Professor at Western Law. She graduated with distinction from Western Law in 2011, having helped to establish the Western Journal of Legal Studies. She clerked for Mr Justice O’Reilly at the Federal Court of Canada and was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2012. Chiodo then practiced in Toronto until the fall of 2017, primarily in the field of class actions. During that time she also taught civil procedure as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, and completed her LLM in class actions with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Chiodo is currently completing her doctorate in class actions and group litigation at the University of Oxford, where she is the recipient of a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, a Canada-UK Foundation Doctoral Studentship, and an Oxford Law Faculty Scholarship. She has also taught tort and criminal law as a stipendiary lecturer at Oriel College, Oxford. She has published widely in the area of class actions and civil litigation. Her book, The Class Actions Controversy: The Origins and Development of the Ontario Class Proceedings Act, was based on her LLM thesis and was published by Irwin Law and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History in 2018. It has since won the Peter Oliver Prize in Canadian Legal History and was shortlisted for the 2019 Legislative Assembly of Ontario Speaker’s Book Award. She has written a chapter in Class Actions in Canada (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2018), and has published numerous articles in the UK’s Civil Justice Quarterly, The Canadian Class Action Review, as well as other journals in Canada and the UK. Chiodo’s work on class action reform has influenced policy thinking on both sides of the Atlantic. She is organizing, with Michael Molavi of Oxford’s Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, one of the first class actions conferences in England (currently postponed until 2021). In Ontario, her work was cited in the recent Law Commission of Ontario report, Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms, the first comprehensive review of class actions since they were enacted in the province. Her current research focuses on the modernization and digitization of court procedures in Ontario, as well as online courts in general.