Tort Law and the Public Interest: Competition, Innovation, and Consumer Welfare

By Peter H. Schuck | Go to book overview

9
The European Community Directive on Products Liability

GIULIO PONZANELLI

Perhaps the most interesting development in civil law in Europe during the last decade is the progressive adoption of the standard of strict products liability by the member states of the European Community. The Council of the European Communities adopted the Directive of 25 July 1985 ordering each member state to adopt a statute providing for strict liability for product defects. The 1985 directive was the result of roughly ten years of work. A form of absolute manufacturer liability was first proposed in 1976. A modified version received the support of the European Parliament in a statement of views in 1979. The specific directive of 1985 derived from efforts of the Council of Ministers from 1980 to 1985.

Although there are differences, as we shall see, the directive at base follows the American model of the Restatement of

____________________

GIULIO PONZANELLI is professor of comparative law at Pisa Law School, Pisa, Italy. Previously he taught at Scuola Superiore in Pisa and Bocconi University in Milan. He is the author of monographs, essays, and articles on legal issues, particularly tort law and compensation for personal injury.

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