Commercial Litigation Funding: Ethical, Regulatory and Comparative Perspectives

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Commercial Litigation Funding, Civil Justice, Academic Debate, Access to Justice, Regulation, Impact, Class Actions, Academic Conference


There has been a proliferation of writing about commercial litigation funding (“CLF”) over the past few years, in both the academic and popular press. Too often, the literature presents a narrative of extremes. Commentators are either wholly against CLF on the basis that it gives rise to unethical behaviour and the commodification of our civil justice system, or wholly in support of it on the basis that it promotes access to justice and levels the playing field. A conference held at the University of Windsor Law School in July, 2013 brought together leading scholars, judges and lawyers from the United States, Australia and Canada to engage in a nuanced discussion about CLF that mediated between these extreme polarities. The first conference of its kind in Canada, discussion was focused on four themes: regulation, access to justice, ethics and impacts on class actions. In this article, the conference organizers, Dean Camille Cameron and Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic, survey the principal issues in the debates around CLF, summarize the key points in the conference papers, and identify the basic principles that might inform the regulation of litigation funding in Canada and elsewhere.