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Journal of European Tort Law

Editor-in-Chief: Oliphant, Ken

Ed. by Karner, Ernst / Koch, Bernhard A. / Wendehorst, Christiane

3 Issues per year

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The Product Liability Directive: Time to get Soft?

Duncan Fairgrieve
  • Fellow in Comparative Law and Director of the Tort Law Centre at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law
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/ Geraint Howells / Marcus Pilgerstorfer
Published Online: 2013-04-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jetl-2013-0001


The Product Liability Directive was adopted in 1985. Despite ample evidence of uncertainty as to the meaning of some key provisions, there is no sign that the Commission is keen to engage in a revision of the Directive. Our intention in this article is not to prescribe substantive solutions but to consider how, methodologically, reform might be achieved. Whilst some potential reforms, such as the removal of the ten year long-stop, may require legislative intervention we consider if there is any scope for making the law more certain with developments based on alternative ‘soft law’ techniques for promoting greater certainty. We conclude that Guidance may be helpful, but should be founded on a minor amendment to the Directive authorising such Guidance to be developed.

About the article

Duncan Fairgrieve

Geraint Howells

Marcus Pilgerstorfer

Published Online: 2013-04-13

Published in Print: 2013-04-01

Citation Information: Journal of European Tort Law, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 1–33, ISSN (Online) 1868-9620, ISSN (Print) 1868-9612, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jetl-2013-0001.

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