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  • Print publication year: 2018
  • Online publication date: January 2019

Chapter 4 - The Establishment, Refinement and Consequences of Application of the Active Consumer Court Doctrine

from PART II - THE EMERGENCE AND DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF THE ACTIVE CONSUMER COURT DOCTRINE

Summary

This chapter analyzes the case law of the Court that sets in stone the doctrine of the active consumer court. The first three sections are devoted to the“ trio” of fundamental judgments where the Court sets the theoretical underpinnings of the doctrine. The landmark judgment in that regard is Océano Grupo, together with Cofidis and Mostaza Claro. Section 4 analyzes the case law that sets the basis for the extension of the scope of application of the active consumer court in other fields of consumer protection law. It also covers the case law that“ refines” the doctrine of the active court. This case law provided for crucial clarifications on the nature of the judicial power the doctrine entails (an obligation) as well as the precision of the boundaries of that power linked to the availability of all the factual and legal elements and the observance of the audialteram partem principle. Section 5 delves into the consequences of the exercise of the ex officio powers of the courts. The final Section 6 takes up the problematic of application of the doctrine of active consumer court to collective proceedings, concluding that the doctrine is applicable, for the moment, only in individual consumer proceedings. Although there are certainly matters that have to be clarified in relation to the doctrine, the wealth of the case law developed over the last 15 years at least and analyzed in this chapter demonstrates the existence of a doctrine at a relatively important state of“ maturity. “

OCÉANO GRUPO : LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF AN ACTIVE CONSUMER COURT

The question in Océano Grupo was referred by the industrious Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Barcelona. This was the same court which more than a decade later would make the reference in the other groundbreaking judgment within this line of case law, Aziz. Those two cases can be considered the most important for the establishment of the active consumer court doctrine.