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Liability for ProductsEnglish Law, French Law, and European Harmonization$
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Simon Whittaker

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198256137

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256137.001.0001

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The English Law of Sale of Goods

The English Law of Sale of Goods

(p.226) 10 The English Law of Sale of Goods
Liability for Products


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses English law governing the sale of goods. From the starting point of a general immunity enjoyed by sellers expressed by the catchy (if un-Roman) tag caveat emptor, English law has developed a number of different bases of liability based on the law of sale, or appearing in its context. As in the French law, under the garantie légale or for défauts de non-conformité, liability is strict in the sense that the buyer does not need to show ‘fault’ or negligence for liability to be established; as in French law, ‘liability’ extends to rights in a buyer to claim termination of the contract and restitution of the price, as well as to damages. And as regards both systems, we can see the growing significance of consumer sales in the development of the rules and concepts used by the law.

Keywords:   English law, sale, caveat emptor, seller’s liability, product liability, fault, negligence, buyers, French law

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