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The Successful Conclusion of the 2nd Annual Meeting of World Tort Law Society 2015-10-10
   2016/11/27 15:13:45

The 2nd meeting of World Tort Law Society and the Academic Conference of Justification of Strict Product Liability” was held in St. Michael’s Monastery Hall, Vienna, Austria on September 17 to 18, 2015, which were sponsored by World Tort Law Society, and undertaken jointly by Research Center of Civil and Commercial Jurisprudence of Renmin University of China, European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law and Institute for European Tort Law. After the establishment of World Tort Law Society in Harbin in September 2013 and the holding of the 1st meeting, the members of World Tort Law Society from over 20 countries worked seriously to make adequate preparation for this meeting. In the meeting, a deep discussion was made on the justification of strict product liability and applicable problems of tort law in road traffic accidents to be discussed in the next meeting and a public meeting was held in the Festival Hall of Austria Department of Justice to report the discussion conclusion on the justification of strict product liability and make an in-depth discussion. In addition to the members of the society, there were over 100 experts of European tort law and civil law participating in the meeting and listening to the report. The meeting obtained a successful ending.

After the rising of strict product liability in USA, it was widely spread to the whole world. It played an important role in protecting the legal rights and interests of consumers. However, with continuous extension of the application scope of product liability, the justified basis of strict product liability was doubted by more and more people. The American tort law began to limit the application scope of strict liability in the field of product liability, but the European Union adhered to strict liability in the aspect of product liability in its regulations, which came under criticism and also made an appropriate limitation to prevent the economic development from being limited through improper extension of application of strict product liability. In China, strict liability had a wider application scope in product liability. 

In 2013, the annual meeting of World Tort Law Society revealed the similarities and differences among various law fields in the world about the product liability rules, based on the study of three virtual cases, which laid a good foundation for an in-depth comparative study. 

On this basis, four experts of World Tort Law Society from Asia, Europe, North America and other region made a comparative report for the product liability laws of various regions, and finally, the president of the society Prof. Koziol prepared a report about Product Liability: A Comparative Study Conclusion. In the report, it was proposed that there were defects in principle of fault liability applicable to product liability, a too strict producer liability would also bring out adverse consequences, and then a comparative study was made from the aspects of contract liability and non-contract liability, the justification of strict product liability was demonstrated from the aspects of liability based on illegal act, liability of product dangerousness, liability of industrial production internal risk, enterprise liability, liability of dependencies principle, taking consumer protection as the basis of strict liability, deterrence of strictly liability, risk community and loss dispersion and thus to discuss the problems such as development risk defense, liability of seller and importer, applicable strictly liability of service field, whether immovable property is deemed as a product and innocent victims. It eventually believed that general strict liability undertaken by the producer due to the damage caused by defective products was not harmonious with the whole legal system. On one hand, strict liability went too far, because it was only reasonable within the scope of typical risks depending on and relevant to the industrial mass production; and on the other hand, strict liability was too narrow, because typical risks related to industrial mass production, in fact, were not limited to commodity production, and also occurred in the construction of immovable property and the performance of service contract. In the discussion, the members of the society had made an in-depth discussion and proposed many suggestions with important value for perfecting the report. 

In the public meeting of Department of Justice on the afternoon of September 17, Prof. Koziol made the report on behalf of the society. Chinese Prof. Lixin YANG, American Prof. Michael D. Green, British Prof. Oliphant and South African Prof. Cooper made a supplementary report for the report of Prof. Koziol respectively on behalf of four regions. The above reports had aroused wide interests of the participants who had proposed many problems. These reporters and the participants had made the in-depth discussion and reached a consensus in many aspects and they agreed that such comparative law conclusion had very important significance for the development of product liability laws of various countries in the world. 

It was decided in the meeting that, the 3rd meeting of World Tort Law Society will be held in USA in November 2017. The meeting will finally pass the comparative law report of product liability and at the same time make country reports for applicable scope of tort laws of various countries in the world in road traffic accidents, in order to provide basic materials for a comparative law study applicable to road traffic accident law. In addition, it will determine the discussion topic of 2019 annual meeting of the society to be “Personality Right and Freedom of Speech: Tort Liability under Internet”, at that time, it will propose a comparative law report for applicable world road traffic accident tort law and discuss country reports about internet tort liability. 




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