Proposals for an EU-wide approach to collective redress exposed deep divisions among delegates gathered in Luxembourg for last week’s plenary session of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). Collective redress, sometimes called group litigation or class action, was the subject of one of a series of debates on issues as diverse as the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, EU contract law, defendants’ rights, electronic signatures and the Single Market Act. The debate on an EU-wide system for collective redress saw delegations from most of the CCBE’s 31 member countries agree that ‘language barriers and distances’ would make such a system impossible to implement effectively. They called instead for ‘efficient enforcement’ of consumer laws allied to minimal changes to national procedures. UK delegation leader Ruthven Gemmell said: ‘The time is not right for a one-size-fits-all pan-European collective procedure. We need to build on a process.’ In contrast, the French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Luxembourg delegations came out in favour of the EU setting up a collective redress ‘mechanism’, provided it respected ‘certain prerequisites and principles in order to fit into the European legal culture’. Both sides acknowledged the importance of access to justice, but noted that consumer organisations were likely to support an EU-wide compensation scheme, whereas businesses would fear ‘abusive litigation’. Both sides also agreed that lawyers should be involved in all collective redress actions. An earlier roundtable event considered the EU’s forthcoming accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, whereby the EU is to grant power to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to review the compatibility of its actions under the terms of the convention. Join our LinkedIn Human Rights sub-group Previously, only member states were subject to such scrutiny by the European court. Keynote speakers also discussed what impact accession might have on the relationship between Strasbourg’s ECtHR and Luxembourg’s Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) – formerly the European Court of Justice. Christiaan Timmermans, a CJEU judge until June 2010, said accession was necessary to integrate the EU into the 47- member-state, pan-European system of human rights protection afforded by the Council of Europe through the ECtHR. He added that it would ‘put an end to the present, anomalous situation where someone who considers his human rights infringed by an EU act must address his complaint before the Strasbourg court against a member state – or even all member states – because he cannot directly address the EU’. The convention has been a ‘source of inspiration’ for the Luxembourg court since the early 1970s, Timmermans added. Jean-Marc Sauve, vice-president of the French Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court for cases involving public administration, said that ‘difficulties can and do arise between the two courts’, but that ‘calm examination in the light of settled case law’ should resolve any conflict. ‘No complicated mechanism will be needed to replace intelligent cooperation between judges in the two courts,’ said Sauve. Estonian ECtHR judge Julia Laffranque noted that nine years passed between her country’s application for accession to the EU and its actual accession. She said: ‘Now it’s my opportunity to anticipate how long the EU itself takes to accede to the convention. ‘The process should be as fast and simple as possible.’ Delegates then moved to the CJEU, where its president, Vassilios Skouris, started the plenary session by welcoming the CCBE to the court. It was a time of change, he said, with the court set to streamline the way it dealt with complex and time-consuming competition cases. It will also recruit more judges to help reduce its backlog of cases, he added. CCBE secretary general Jonathan Goldsmith updated delegates on a CCBE project, funded by the European Commission (EC), to prepare factsheets on the rights of defendants in criminal proceedings in all 27 member states of the EU. Goldsmith said that these have now been completed in ‘plain, unambiguous language that can easily be understood by the layperson’ and will be available ‘in the near future’ on the EU’s e-Justice portal. They cover: obtaining legal advice; a defendant’s rights before, during and after trial; and road traffic offences.Goldsmith also gave a status report on the CCBE’s Find-A-Lawyer (FAL) project, which aims to create an online tool for lawyers and consumers to search for and find suitable legal representation in every member state of the EU. Goldsmith said that the EC is to build the FAL search engine on the e-Justice portal by the middle of next year, and urged non-participating bars and law societies to join the project straight away. Friday’s session concluded with a guided tour of the CJEU, with delegates visiting courtrooms, the judges’ deliberation chamber (where the 27 judges, one from each member state, hold weekly meetings) and common areas housing some of the court’s art collection. On Saturday, European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship Viviane Reding told the plenary session that she will launch new legislation in July to facilitate cross-border debt recovery through better enforcement. She said: ‘It will be a new self-standing European procedure available to citizens and companies in addition to existing national procedures.’ She added that her programme for 2011 would also include initiatives on family and criminal law, the European Arrest Warrant and victims of crime.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES World No. 18 Petrova steamrolled Radwanska in the opening set before Radwanska rallied to take the next, but the Russian took control near the end of the last set in a 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 victory on a spectacular day on center court at Ariake Tennis Forest Park.“To be honest with you, I don’t know where I found the strength and willpower to fight to three sets. This is the biggest title I’ve ever won. This is a great accomplishment,” said Petrova, who won her 12th career WTA title.“I was really low on energy in that third, but my coach was really giving me a lot of mental support,” she said.Radwanska, the 2012 Wimbledon finalist, had held a 3-1 career record against Petrova, but the 23-year-old was a shell of herself early on before bouncing back to make things interesting.The 30-year-old Petrova, the 17th seed in her sixth appearance here, went better than her 2008 semifinal loss to win her second title of the season following her victory at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.The pair played evenly in the third set with neither conceding a break point, until things took an awkward turn for Radwanska in the eighth game.Radwanska doubled faulted for the first deuce of the set, and she doubled faulted again to give Petrova advantage before the Russian broke the Pole with a passing shot just out of reach.“She was just a little better than I was today. I was hoping for the title again this year, but just couldn’t quite get there,” said Radwanska, who choked up in her post-match interview. “Her serves and returns were really working for her today.”Petrova rolled in the ninth game to triple match point before Radwanska pushed within 40-15. But the Russian served out the match, ending it with a forehand smash after 1 hour, 41 minutes.“The first set was perfect tennis; I put a lot of energy into it. But I hit an energy low in the second set. After I had a change of clothes following the second set, I got back in the game.”Petrova had 11 aces to just six for Radwanska. “I was very happy with my service game in the first and third set but hit a slump in the second. I thought she started to have trouble with some of my high kick serves.”In the doubles final, Raquel Kop-Jones and partner Abigail Spears of the United States defeated Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Czech Kveta Peschke 6-1, 6-4.The tournament turned out to be something of a dud after world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka pulled out before her quarterfinal match with dizzy spells, and world No. 2 Maria Sharapova bounced out of the final eight after a loss to Australian Samantha Stosur on Thursday.Nishikori into semisAFP-JjijiKUALA LUMPURRussia’s Nikolay Davydenko retired from his Malaysian Open quarterfinal against Kei Nishikori on Friday after suffering a muscle injury in his left leg.The former world No. 3 and winner of the inaugural Malaysian Open in 2009 had lost the first set against the third seeded Nishikori 6-4 before calling it quits.Davydenko, who has dropped to No. 44 in the world, first pulled up injured in the eighth game of the first set. He called for a medical timeout and only played another two games before losing that set. He then decided to quit the tournament, handing Nishikori a semifinal berth.In the semis, the 22-year-old, who at No. 17 is the highest ranked Asian in the world, will meet second seed Juan Monaco of Argentina.“Now that I have qualified for the semifinals, my thoughts are on my opponent and close friend Monaco,” Nishikori said.“I have been practicing with him since we arrived in Malaysia. I expect a difficult match as we know each other’s game very well . . . He likes to play from the baseline so I will have to adjust my game plan accordingly.”World No. 11 Monaco easily defeated Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-4 in an earlier match.Seventh seed Julien Benneteau of France also smashed Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-2, 6-2.Friday’s last quarterfinal saw world No. 5 and top seed David Ferrer of Spain put away Dutchman Igor Sijsling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Russian Nadia Petrova played spoiler Saturday, denying world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in her bid for a successful title defense at the Pan Pacific Open.Radwanska, the third seed, failed to become the first player to win back-to-back titles since Lindsay Davenport achieved the feat in 2003-04. Petrova claimed prize money of $385,000. RELATED PHOTOS Breakthrough: Russia’s Nadia Petrova holds up her prize after beating Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 in the final of the Pan Pacific Open on Saturday at Ariake Colosseum. | AFP-JIJI
DEAL OF THE DAY Reeths-Puffer’s Gerald Woodland tries to pull himself free from Fremont’s Elijah Beasley. Photo/Leo Valdez Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets, Citru… Mail Share DEAL OF THE DAY Not relevant Lemedy Women Padded Sports Bra Fitness Wo… Displayed poorly $22.99 Not relevant RJ Thome ties up Fruitport’s Brennan Martin. Reeths-Puffer’s Caleb McNeil gets ready to take down Fremont’s Trey Breuker. Photo/Leo Valdez Fruitport’s Jamie Woodring gets atop of Fremont’s Cody Visscher. Photo/Leo Valdez Other ENDS IN ENDS IN Fox Sports Go Displayed poorly DEAL OF THE DAY × Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. 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Inappropriate / Offensive Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly LocalSportsJournal.comThe Reeths-Puffer wrestling team took home a Division 2 district title on Wednesday with a 66-18 semifinal victory over Muskegon and a 60-17 victory over Fremont in the finals.Reeths-Puffer’s Colby Stephenson pins Fremont’s Sergio Gomez. Photo/Leo ValdezWrestlers who went 2-0 for Reeths-Puffer were Gerald Woodland (112), Jacob Blawat (119), Noah McKinnon (125), Alex Chipman (130), Kaden Edwards (135), Thade Radosa (145), Caleb McNeil (152), Colby Stephenson (160), and Gerrit Andrus (189) while Hunter McCall (215) went 1-0.Muskegon wrestlers who had a win against Reeths-Puffer were Nat Crump (152), Gabe James (215) and Jamarion Herron (285).HART TAKES HOME DIVISON 4 TITLE – The Hart wrestling team defeated Ravenna 69-9 in the Division 4 district semifinals before defeating Hesperia 61-12 in the finals.Wrestlers who went 2-0 on the night for the Pirates were Spencer Vanderzwaag (112), Robert Altland (119), Chance Alvestefer (125), Noah Cantu (130/135), Jordan Mallory (135/140), Andrew Whitney (140/145), Jayden Vanderzwaag (152), Jerry Brandel (160), Thomas Tanner (171/189), and Alex Holladay (189/215).Reeths-Puffer’s Caleb McNeil gets ready to take down Fremont’s Trey Breuker. Photo/Leo ValdezWrestlers who won one match for Hart were Noah Bosley (103), Cesar Velasquez (215) and Tanner Breitwisch (285).GRAND HAVEN MAKES FINALS BUT FALL NARROWLY – The Grand Haven wrestling team defeated Mona Shores 52-20 in the Division 1 district semifinals before losing 40-31 to Hudsonville in the district finals.Buccaneer wrestlers who went undefeated were Aiden Pike (103), Riley Rhone (112), Hefzur Rahman (112), Cody Miller (130) and Zach Boersen (135).Mona Shores winning wrestlers were Anthony Gaiser (119), Camran Stout (160), Robby Swanker (171) and Colt Stout (285). (832) Other Bestseller Displayed poorly Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly Add Comments (Max 320 characters) NBC Sports Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $0.00 × The Reeths-Puffer team watches intensely from the sideline. Photo/Leo Valdez Other $20.00$233.61 Bestseller Not relevant Other Add Comments (Max 320 characters) (1445) DEAL OF THE DAY Report a problem This item is… FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… (35309) Bestseller Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Report a problem This item is… DEAL OF THE DAY Reeths-PUffer’s Gerrit Andrus butts heads with Fremont’s Kyler Kolk. Photo/Leo Valdez Bestseller Sports Illustrated Other Bestseller Not relevant ENDS IN Shop Now Fruitport’s Evan Ludlow warps up the knee of Fremont’s Matt Long. Reeths-Puffer’s Caleb McNeil gets ready to take down Fremont’s Trey Breuker. Photo/Leo Valdez Report a problem This item is… Inappropriate / Offensive 0 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Not relevant Fremont’s RJ Thome ties up Reeths-Puffer’s Connor Bloomstrom. Photo/Leo Valdez Other ENDS IN Twelve Bestseller RJ Thome tries to keep his arms away from Fruitport’s Brennan Martin. Reeths-Puffer’s Caleb McNeil gets ready to take down Fremont’s Trey Breuker. Photo/Leo Valdez Fremont’s Gage Montague (left) locks up with Reeths-Puffer’s Alexander Chipman. Photo/Leo Valdez Report a problem This item is… Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $9.99 DEAL OF THE DAY × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Ads by Amazon Displayed poorly ENDS IN Inappropriate / Offensive Not relevant Bestseller Displayed poorly Fremont’s Matthew Halasinski tries to arch his way from Reeths-Puffer’s Thade Radosa. Reeths-Puffer’s Caleb McNeil gets ready to take down Fremont’s Trey Breuker. Photo/Leo Valdez ENDS IN Ads by Amazon