Europeanisation of Product Liability in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Preliminary Empirical Benchmark
39 Pages Posted: 15 May 2007
Date Written: May 2007
This article draws on survey results to provide a preliminary empirical benchmark of the impact in the Asia-Pacific Region of strict-liability product liability law reforms, implemented in many jurisdictions since the 1990s based often on the 1985 European Commission Directive. It identifies considerable convergence in the "law in action" as well as the "law in books," largely mirroring results from the baseline survey of European jurisdictions completed in 2002 by Lovells for the Commission. Similar effects include small but significant increases in claims, settlements, and reactions from firms. However, these tendencies are also affected by broader (arguably inter-related) factors such as shifts in consumer consciousness and media attention. Conventional causes of action also continue to be invoked, and there is not much call for further reform. This situation highlights the distinctiveness of high levels of product liability litigation in the United States. Growing but limited case law in certain Asia-Pacific and European jurisdictions should be synthesized into "Strict Liability Product Liability Principles." It also is likely that the Asia-Pacific will continue to follow more the European Union in related areas such as consumer access to justice and product safety regulation.
Keywords: product liability law, comparative law, Asian law
JEL Classification: K13, K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation