The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly been an impetus for change in the Luxembourg legal landscape, as it enhanced the use of electronic communications, which became widely adopted in administrations and courts, and sometimes even mandatory. Although the Luxembourg legal landscape has been dominated in recent years by COVID-19 issues, there have also been a number of other important developments and trends.
In this context, a vast reform of Luxembourg's civil procedure was implemented, following the increasing number and complexity of cases pending before the courts. As specified in the coalition agreement signed in 2018, the reform has set itself the ambitious goal of strengthening civil and commercial justice by optimising existing procedures and creating new ones, all with the aim of making justice more accessible, rapid and efficient.
Furthermore, Luxembourg is in the process of introducing collective recourse procedures into consumer law. This will finally allow for a single action to be brought by a group of consumers against the wrongdoing of a single professional, therefore preventing individual time and cost-consuming actions.
All of this shows that in a time of rapid and tumultuous change, litigation as a practice area in Luxembourg is not static and is experiencing a number of important new patterns.
• New law to reform the procedural rules in civil and commercial matters
Major innovations have been introduced into the Luxembourg procedural landscape with the introduction of a new law on 8 June 2021 (the "Law") which aims above all to streamline civil procedure.
Thus, some of the most important changes should be highlighted.
The increase in the number of cases that can be submitted to the justice of peace
Amongst others, a major innovation is the increase in the rate of jurisdiction 'rationae valoris' of the justices of peace (“Justice de Paix” - lower courts) from 10,000 euros to 15,000 euros. This increase will undoubtedly alleviate the workload of the district courts and, consequently, speed up proceedings before them as more and more civil and commercial cases will be dealt in the future by the justices of peace in an oral procedure in which the parties will not be obliged to be represented by a lawyer.
However, many reservations were expressed about the increased amounts. Amongst them, the Luxembourg Bar Association had recommended to increase the amount to 20,000 euros. Nevertheless, the legislature seems to have feared that the volume of cases that would fall within the jurisdiction of the justices of peace would increase excessively if the rate of jurisdiction was raised above 15,000 euros, and that this would have the opposite effect to that sought.