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Great expectations : The past, present and future of product liability laws in Korea

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  • Great expectations
  • Lee, Young-Dae
  • Seoul National University(BK 21 Law)


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Title Great expectations
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Sub Title

The past, present and future of product liability laws in Korea

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Lee, Young-Dae

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(BK 21 Law)

Date 2003
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Journal of Korean Law:vol. 3(no. 1)
Pages 9
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < Laws and Legislation
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

The Product Liability Act (hereinafter, the “"PL”" Act) was entered into force in Korea on July 1, 2002. The purpose of the PL Act is to protect consumers against damages caused by defective products, and to contribute to the safety of citizens and the sound development of the national economy by regulating the liability of manufacturers for damages caused by the defective products. This paper reviews past relevant tort case decisions in order to predict the future development of product liability theory by the Korean courts. In reviewing decisions made before the enactment of the PL Act, it was found that the courts had applied the negligence principle instead of the concept of defects, which means the plaintiff had the ‘'burden of proof,’' the obligation to prove the manufacturer’'s negligence. Another tendency held by the court was to deny liability for damages if no causation existed. As the cases show, negligence is difficult to prove, as most laypeople do not have the necessary expertise regarding the intricacies of the products, making it disadvantageous for the plaintiff. The courts, even before the enactment of the PL Act, recognized the need to improve laws related to torts by setting case precedents that gave remedy to the victims. Analysis of these milestone cases can be divided into three categories. (The rest omitted)