Please note: This project is currently on hold

The Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario approved a new project on class actions, including a comprehensive review of the Class Proceedings Act and class actions practice, in 2013. Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act (CPA) came into force in 1993, with three goals: to improve access to justice, to enable more efficient and effective judicial management of complex cases of mass injury, and to coerce behavioral modification through public accountability.

While the CPA is procedural in nature, its objectives of access to justice, judicial economy and behavioral modification make it a potentially powerful tool when applied to a wide array of complex, high-stakes litigation. This is especially so, given the significant discretion courts have to tailor the procedure to the particular challenges of various class actions.

The review will also consider challenges beyond the four corners of the legislation, such as the sustainability of the CPF, concerns around self-dealing and challenges in relation to national actions.

The Class Actions project is currently headed by Aneurin (Nye) Thomas, the Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario.

What We Have Done So Far

  • In the spring and summer of 2013, the LCO conducted extensive preliminary research and interviews in order to understand the key context in which the law operates, and to identify core issues for further research, analysis and consultation. This process resulted in the issues to be considered in the project.
  • The LCO created a project advisory group representing key stakeholder groups, including government representatives, court officials, plaintiff and defence law firms and legal organizations in order to provide ongoing advice throughout the project.
  • The LCO has gathered data from cases decided in Ontario since the inception of the CPA into a database. The LCO is thankful for funding from the  Canadian Forum on Civil Justice which made possible the student assistance necessary to compile the database.

Next Steps

The Class Actions project is currently on hold pending a review of the project. The Law Commission will update the project status once this review is complete.

Project Documents