Chapter

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

SIMON WHITTAKER

in Liability for Products

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780198256137
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681639 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256137.003.0011
The English Law Governing Public Services, Private Services and Liability for Products

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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

Chapter.  20965 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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