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C 300/95 Commission v UK

[1997] All ER (EC) 481

Case summary last updated at 20/01/2020 16:06 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case C 300/95 Commission v UK

Art. 7e of the directive (above) stated that a producer of a defective product was not to be liable if he proved “that the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when he put the product into circulation was not such as to enable the existence of the defect to be discovered”, which the commission argued was narrower than the defence offered in the act. The EC court held that Article 7e did not refer to practices and standards in use in the industrial sector in which the producer was operating but to the state of scientific and technical knowledge, including the most advanced level of such knowledge, at the time the product was put into circulation. The defence provided by Article 7(e) contemplated the objective state of scientific and technical knowledge of which the producer was presumed to have been informed rather than his subjective state of actual knowledge, provided that the knowledge was accessible at the time when the product was put into circulation. Given s.1(1) of the act, the act had transposed this correctly and the English courts would interpret the defence this way. 

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