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Welcome to Piotr Machnikowski
The Group anticipates the publication (by Intersentia) of the results of its Public Authority Liability project sometime in 2015. More details of the upcoming publication are available here. The Borderlines and Product Liability projects are scheduled for conclusion in 2016.
The last EGTL meeting took place in Wrocław, Poland on 15-17 October 2015, thanks to Machnikowski’s efforts and the generous support of the Polish Narodowe Centrum Nauki.
Information on Ongoing Projects
Principles of European Tort Law - Prescription and Time Limits in Tort
Prescription is a legal institution that prevents P from enforcing an alleged right against D because of the passage of time on the claim. The aim of the project is to explore how (and why) the passage of time on an alleged tort claim affects (and should affect) the claim, the parties (the claimant and defendant) and other parties. The project is jointly funded by the Institute for European Tort Law and the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law. The results of the studies will be published by the Group's series publisher, Intersentia.
Project Leader: Israel Gilead and Bjarte Askeland
Michael G Faure
Michael D Green
Anne LM Keirse
Bernhard A Koch
The Liability of Public Authorities in Comparative Perspective
In the last decades, the liability of public authorities has been one of the main focuses of development in tort law in Europe, with major reforms implemented or considered at national level, and a steady stream of major court decisions. During the same period, ´Member State liability´ has also been recognised in the law of the EU, and the interplay of principles of national and EU law - and additionally the ´just satisfaction´ jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights - evidently warrants close attention. In this context, the aims of the present study are to contribute to the understanding of the law of extra-contractual liability as it applies to public authorities in the legal systems of Europe (and selected non-European jurisdictions), to facilitate its enhancement where necessary or desirable, and to consider the possibilities for harmonisation in the area - specifically, through the extension and adaptation of the Principles of European Tort Law to cover public authority liability.
The Borderlines of Tort Law: Interactions with Contract Law
All European legal systems recognise a boundary between the domains of tort and contract. Whereas there have been voices contending that this distinction is no longer valid or, at least, that there should be a unification of the two sets of rules in particular contexts, others claim that there is still a very important distinction to be maintained. In fact the boundary between the two areas is often blurred and whether it is drawn in one place or another varies from country to country, giving rise to the paradox that what is considered a matter of contractual liability in one legal system is governed exclusively by tort law in another.
The project will explore how differences between tort and contract affect the foundations of liability, the nature and amount of the compensation, the extent of liability and whether defences and limitation periods corresponding to the distinct causes of action give rise to substantially different outcomes. It will also analyse to what extent actions in tort and in contract exclude each other and, when this is the case, how their concurrence is organised, and lastly will devote its attention to specific situations such as pre-contractual liability and the liability of professionals.
Members of the European Group on Tort Law (EGTL) together with members of the Research Group on EU Private Law (Acquis Group) and its guests will participate in a project entitled ‘Product Liability Law in EU and in National Laws and the Development of New Technologies’ financed by the Polish Narodowe Centrum Nauki. The primary aim of the project is to determine whether the regulation presently in force in European Union (EU) Member States (concerning liability for loss caused by defective products, as implemented under Council Directive of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products (85/374/EEC)), remains, after almost thirty years, an adequate legal response to the phenomenon of products brought to market that fail to ensure appropriate levels of safety for their users. The primary argument in favour of undertaking a thorough review of the current regulation’s timeliness is the dynamic growth of new technologies, which is a phenomenon characteristic of the last decade and one supposed to be an engine of growth for the EU in the coming years. Indeed, we are currently witnesses to the dynamic development of technology in various spheres of life. Above all, mention should be made of such new phenomena as regenerative medicines, nano-technology, cloud computing, new computing devices like interactive digital eyewear, contour crafting, and autonomous technologies (eg, self-configuring systems, adaptable machines, intelligent transport devices). Introduced into everyday use, they have either begun to exert their influence on the day-to-day lives of people or will do so in the near future, carrying not only benefits but also dangers for their users. It is thus vital to assess if the current, harmonised regime on product liability – especially the concept of the product, the defect test, the development risk defence and the principle of strict liability – ensures safety for users of new technologies on the one hand and does not restrict its progress on the other. Furthermore, it is advisable to examine if cases in which the current liability regulation fails to cover the particular risks associated with new technologies are encompassed by other, non-harmonised domestic tort law regimes.
The project has two primary aims. The first is to explore the manner in which the Directive on the liability for defective products has been implemented into domestic law, with special focus on the relation between the rules of this liability and other rules of tort law. This concerns two types of relations. The first plane of coexistence for European and domestic law can be found where particular aspects of product liability are not regulated in the Directive, but are left to domestic law (this especially concerns the notion of damage, causal link, and some particular issues of limitation). The second plane is the relation between the liability regime as set forth in the Directive and other such grounds of liability present in domestic law for harm caused by bringing insufficiently safe products to market, both under tort and contract law regimes. The second, and potentially more important, aim of the project is to determine if European law will ensure sufficient safety for individuals using the goods produced by applying technologies currently under development. If it is determined that European law does not ensure the required level of protection for those making use of new technologies, it will then be necessary to consider if such protection is provided by other domestic regulations, and if the Directive should be amended in order to adapt it to new challenges.
Project Leader: Piotr Machnikowski
The EGTL is pleased to announce the publication of I Gilead/MD Green/BA Koch, Proportional Liability: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives (2013) (ISBN 978-3-11-028253-5). The book addresses why, how and in what situations rules of proportional liability can promote the goals of tort law.
The European Principles of Tort Law in the European case law
Several Supreme Courts around the world have started quoting or refering to the European Principles on Tort Law in their decisions. Here you can find some examples. Please if you know others, don't hesitate to contact us and we will add them to the list below.
Apart from the above, the PETL have also been quoted in: