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August 18, 2014

Rise of Class Actions in Latin America Threatens Region’s Growth

Originally published by ILR President Lisa A. Rickard in The National Law Journal

Latin America has entered the 21st century with great promise. The region is experiencing a surge of startup companies and initial public offerings. Robust growth and increasingly sophisticated local markets are attracting foreign investors. The U.N. Economic Commission on Latin America forecasts that Latin America’s economic development will be the highest of all global regions for 2014.

But not all developments in the region are positive. In several countries, new and proposed laws to expand class actions have the potential to undermine a key precondition for economic growth — a fair civil justice system. These changes could imperil economic growth for Latin America — an outcome that benefits no one.

My organization, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, has long focused on the problems of class actions in the United States and globally. Earlier this year, we commissioned two reports on Latin American civil justice systems. The first report examines the expansion of class actions in 13 countries in the region. The second is a specific study of proposals in Brazil.

We were deeply troubled by what we found.

Read the full op-ed here.

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