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Mission and Values

Justice for all

Ius Omnibus is a not-for-profit consumer protection association incorporated under the laws of Portugal in 2020. It was born with the objective of protecting and defending the interests of European consumers in a transparent and swift way, aiming to create a new paradigm of legality and access to justice for all, and to end the civil impunity that companies have benefited from across the European Union when they violate consumer rights.

We will fight for a new world in which companies know they will have to compensate consumers when they violate their rights, deterring them from violating the law in the first place and ensuring that everyone – not just companies with deep pockets – is compensated when laws are violated.

We intend to revolutionize and fight for the effectiveness of justice for European consumers.

Ius is a registered consumer association in Portugal, with a seat on the Portuguese National Consumer Council, and with over 7.000 members.

Independence and funding

Ius Omnibus is a not-for-profit association. The members of the association’s bodies are not remunerated. It does not depend on public funding, nor will it be funded through fees, donations or sales of services and/or products of any kind.

The Ius Omnibus funding model differs from the financing model of other consumer associations, aiming to guarantee the full independence of the association’s activities, both in relation to public authorities and to private economic interests.

Ius Omnibus will pursue legal actions of different magnitudes. Those magnitudes do not reflect the importance of the interests being represented, but rather the investment required by  them.

The “major” legal actions that we intend to pursue require investments of several hundred thousand euros. This is actually the reason why, until today, there have never been these kind of actions among us. There are no individual consumers or consumer protection associations with the capacity to carry out such investments, nor public funds available for that purpose.

Ius Omnibus overcomes this gap by using a mechanism still little used in Portugal: ligation funding agreements. The major lawsuits brought by the association are financed entirely by international litigation funders, who pay all litigation expenses, as well as the operating expenses of Ius Omnibus associated with the pursuit of those actions.

These funders take on all of the risk of the success of the legal actions, which means that they only invest in actions that they believe to be solid and to have a high probability of success. Funders will only recover and be renumerated for their investment if Ius Omnibus wins the legal proceedings, and only if and to the extent authorized by the court. The court will control the proportionality of that remuneration in each case.

This funding mechanism is designed so that the consumers in question do not have to bear any costs in the actions being brought by the association. In case of success, any consumer who requests his share of the compensation, provided by the court, will receive 100% of the amount that he/she is entitled to, without having to give up any part of that amount to pay for the actions’ costs. These costs are paid by the companies twho broke the law and by the portion of damages which is not claimed by the injured consumers.

Under the terms of the Portuguese popular action rules, if any of these actions is won, the remainder of the total compensation that is not claimed by the represented consumers will be handed over to Ministry of Justice, to promote access to justice and future popular actions. In the medium term, these actions will create a form of public funding for the judicial defense of consumer rights.

All of Ius Omnibus’ litigation funding agreements include clauses that prohibit funders from having any decision-making power in the actions they fund, making them fully hands-off funders. In all its legal proceedings, Ius Omnibus is the only person responsible to take all decisions relating to the pursuit of the cases, including filing them, withdrawing claims and reaching settlements. Funders receive a proposal from Ius setting out a case’s risks and strategy and carry out a due diligence at the end of which they decide if they wish to fund the case, without the power to intervene in it. Funders are merely informed of the developments in the case. Ius Omnibus guides its behaviour and instructs its lawyers responsible for legal actions to act always in accordance with consumers’ interests and to refuse any and all instructions from Funders. Ius diversifies its sources of funding to ensure that its income originates from several funders.

Ius Omnibus is not active on any market, does not provide any goods or services and has no conflicts of interests with any undertaking. Ius Omnibus’ internal procedures ensure that no Board member can take part in a decision of the Board where he/she, or one of his/her close relatives, has a personal or economic interest.

Before entering into a funding agreement with any potential funder, Ius Omnibus carries out checks to confirm the absence of conflicts of interests. In particular, it ensures that the funder is not a competitor of the defendant undertakings, and that it is not in a relation of subordination or can exercise control over those undertakings.

In addition to the “major” actions mentioned above, Ius Omnibus also intends to promote smaller lawsuits, which do not require high investments. In these cases, it will be possible to finance these actions with a combination of the association’s scarce resources, pro bono work and by remunerating lawyers with components of deferred fees and/or success fees.

Transparency

Ius Omnibus is committed to ensuring full transparency of the sources of its funding and of its accounts, not only to its members, but to civil society at large. The association’s accounts will be disclosed annually on this website.

Accounts 2021 and 2022: [PDF]

Currently, the litigation funders of the legal actions already brought by Ius Omnibus are Nivalion, Consumer Justice Network, Augusta e Consumer Justice Legal Fund Trust. To date, Ius has no other financier or source of income.

Ius Omnibus is not subject to liquidation nor has it been declared insolvent.

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