Georgia Law Professor Thomas Kadri and McGill Law Professor Ignacio Cofone publish transnational analysis of cy près settlements in privacy class actions

University of Georgia School of Law Professor Thomas Kadri (above left) and McGill University Faculty of Law Professor Ignacio Cofone (above right) have published a chapter exploring a controversial procedural mechanism in privacy class actions.

The chapter, entitled “Cy Près Settlements in Privacy Class Actions,” was first featured in Class Actions in Privacy Law, a 2020 Routledge volume that Cofone edited. A Spanish translation recently was published, under the title “Acuerdos Cy Près en Acciones de Clase sobre Privacidad,” in 2 Revista Jurídica Austral 33 (2021).

Here’s the abstract for this chapter by Kadri and Cofone, as set out at SSRN:

This essay considers the potential for using cy près settlements in privacy class actions. These settlements are a procedural mechanism to overcome distribution challenges in class actions. When it is too burdensome to prove individual claims or too costly to distribute damages to class members, courts on occasions award damages to a charity or non-profit organization involved in work serving the class members’ interests. These controversial settlements have been gaining attention in various legal systems. The U.S. Supreme Court recently considered their propriety in Frank v. Gaos, while courts in Canada and several Latin American countries have been experimenting with cy près as well. The essay uses these cases to explore how this procedural mechanism can be particularly useful in privacy class actions. While cy près settlements require proper judicial supervision to prevent abuse, the chapter concludes that they can help to deter privacy invasions, enforce privacy laws, and provide plaintiffs with some measure of indirect relief when those laws are violated.

Welcoming Visiting Scholar Brianne McGonigle Leyh, Associate Professor at Netherlands’ Utrecht University

We at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center are pleased to welcome Dr. Brianne McGonigle Leyh, a widely published expert in human rights law and global justice, with a focus on victims’ rights, transitional justice, social justice, and the documentation of serious crimes, as a Visiting Scholar. She joins us from Utrecht University School of Law in the Netherlands, where she is an Associate Professor. At Utrecht she is also a member of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, from which earned her Ph.D. in Law in 2011, the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law & Administration of Justice, and the Utrecht Youth Academy, as well as Education Coordinator of the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges.

Serving as her Georgia Law faculty sponsor is Diane Marie Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and a Faculty Co-Director of our Center.

On August 23, as part of her monthlong visit, Professor McGonigle Leyh will give a presentation on her current research, “The Avengers of International Criminal Law: The Role of Civil Society Actors in Advancing Accountability Efforts for Serious International Crimes.” Her focus is on the effect that strategic litigation – that is, universal jurisdiction cases under way in national systems in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, and France – will have on international criminal justice. The research forms part of a larger project entitled “Networking Justice: Strengthening Accountability for Serious International Crimes.”

In addition to her doctorate, she holds a J.D. cum laude and an M.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C., as well as a B.A. magna cum laude in Genocide Studies & Human Rights from Boston University. Her many publications include a monograph, Procedural Justice? Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings (Intersentia 2011), several edited volumes, and dozens of law review articles. Among her professional affiliations, she is a Senior Peace Fellow with the Public International Law & Policy Group, sits on the advisory boards of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Pro Bono Connect, and is an Executive Editor of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights.

Professor McGonigle Leyh’s visit continues our Center’s long tradition of hosting, for brief or extended stays, scholars and researchers whose work touches on issues of international, comparative, or transnational law. Details and an online application to become a visiting scholar here.