One of the goals of the legislation is litigation efficiency or judicial economy to help the Court deal effectively with the large number of claims arising from the same events or series of events. Another goal is to encourage access by victims to the Court system.
In order to determine if a class action is the preferred procedure to resolve class members’ claims, the court will consider whether the class proceeding would be a fair, efficient and manageable way to advance the claims of the class. The court will also consider whether they are other preferable alternatives available to the class members to resolve their claims.
Section 7(2) of the Class Proceedings Act outlines a number of criteria that the court must consider in order to determine if a class action is the preferred procedure.
- Whether questions of fact or law common to the class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members;
- Whether a significant number of the class members have a valid interest in individually controlling the prosecution of separate proceedings;
- Whether the class proceeding would involve claims or defences that are or have been the subject of any other proceedings;
- Whether other means of resolving the claims are less practical or less efficient;
- Whether the administration of the class proceeding would create greater difficulties than those likely to be experienced if relief was sought by other means; and,
- Any other matter the Court considers relevant.