ASSIGNMENT INTERNATIONAL LAW WEEK LEUVEN 7-11/12/2009 Prior to the Council Directive of 25 July 1985, the laws of the

European Member States concerning the liability for damage caused by the defectiveness of products, were very divergent. The implementation of The European directive of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products, lead to the harmonisation of the Member States’ legislation. This harmonisation is based on liability without fault on the part of the producer. During the Business Week the students will work on a group report as well as on a presentation of their findings. First of all, they will have to analyse the European Directive. This means they will focus on the scope of the Directive and its main provisions, such as : • who is held liable, • what is a defective product, • are there any defences a trader can use if he is sued, • does the injured person have to take into account a limitation period applicable to proceedings for the recovery of damage, • can all kinds of damage be recovered. Secondly, the students will study and compare their own national legislation and case law on defective products in general: • contractual liability, • non-contractual liability based on fault, • special liability systems for specific products, • legislation implementing the European Directive on Product liability. Finally, the students will further elaborate assigned topics concerning product liability as introduced by the European Directive. At the end of the Business Week each group of students will present their findings on the assigned topics to an interested and well-informed audience of fellow students and lecturers. In order to be able to accomplish this study, a proper preparation is necessary. The students should bring along: • Text of the European Directive of 25 July 1985 (85/374/EEC) as amended by the Directive of 10 May 1999 (1999/34/EC) (English version) • National Legislation implementing the Directive (if possible also English version) • National legislation on defective products (contractual liability, noncontractual liability, special liability system) • Legislation, case law and doctrine related to the assigned product liability topic. • Individual report (see below).

If possible, laptop.

The students prepare an individual report (5 pages) on product liability including: • general study of the scope and main provisions of the Directive • general study of their own national legislation on liability for defective products (contractual, non-contractual, special liability system for specific groups of products, implementation of the directive) • detailed study on the assigned topic (see table below) The individual report (Word document) will be mailed to, and to on or before 27/11/2009. Students will make sure that they have access to the electronic copy of their report during the international week. ASSIGNED TOPICS CONCERNING PRODUCT LIABILITY AS INTRODUCED BY THE EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE

1. Which products are covered by the legislation implementing the European
Directive on product liability ? 2. What is a “defective” product ?

3. Level of financial compensation (types of damage, threshold/franchise,
limitation of the amount of damage to be recovered) 4. Burden of proof (required level of certainty, who pays for the experts’ report, what if the defective product has “disappeared”)

5. Who is liable ? (producer of parts of a product ?, trader, own brander,
supplier ?)

6. Defences, limitation period, date of termination of the rights of the injured
person, limitation or exemption clauses.

TOPICS 1 LAW01 LAW02 GROUPS LAW03 LAW04 LAW05 LAW06 LAW07 LAW08 A A A B B A B A A A 2 B A B B B B 3 4 5 6

Group members and email addresses (see Toledo, community Business Week)