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Product Liability (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001

Background to the proposals

3.Directive 1999/34 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10th May 1999 (OJ no. L141, 4.6.99, p. 20) amends Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 (OJ No. L210, 7.8.85, p. 29) on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products (the 1985 Directive). The 1985 Directive was implemented in Northern Ireland by the Consumer Protection (Northern Ireland) Order 1987. Directive 1999/34 extends product liability to primary agricultural products and game.

4.The 1985 Directive introduced a system of strict liability for products that do not provide the safety which people are generally entitled to expect (defined as “defective product”).  It was implemented by the then Department of Economic Development in the 1987 Order.  The Directive places strict liability on producers for death, injury, loss or damage to private property caused by defective products.  This means that a person injured by a defective product can sue for damages without having to prove a producer negligent.  However, he must prove that the product was defective and that the defect in the product caused the injury.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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