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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

The English Law Governing Public Services, Private Services and Liability for Products

The English Law Governing Public Services, Private Services and Liability for Products

(p.267) 11 The English Law Governing Public Services, Private Services and Liability for Products
Liability for Products


Oxford University Press

Liability of the suppliers of public services in respect of their use or supply of products is governed by the ordinary law of contract and of tort, rather than by any specifically public regimes of liability such as we have seen in French law, though with notable exceptions where there is some particular statutory ground to qualify this treatment. This means that the law itself is not divided between the public and private, but paradoxically it does not mean that the ordinary law applies identically in the public and private spheres. This chapter explains how English courts have sometimes developed special treatments within the ‘ordinary’ framework to govern the liability of the public providers of services, and how sometimes the same ‘ordinary framework’ applies differently where the provision is private rather than public. It starts by looking briefly at the way in which the ordinary law governs liability in respect of the provision of services and how this compares to French private law. The chapter then describes how this has been applied in the context of the supply of public utilities, transport services, and health care.

Keywords:   English law, liability, public services, public utilities, transport services, health care, contract law, tort law, French law

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