Having sketched the historical evolution of PL law in broad socio-economic
context in the US, the EU, and especially Japan, this chapter turns to a closer
‘black letter law’ comparison of central aspects of this developing area of law.
Particular attention is paid to Japan’s PL Law of 1994, and similar ‘strict liability’
statutory regimes in Europe (the 1985 EC Directive) and Australia (Part VA of
the TPA). Of course, to varying extents, national legislation implementing the
Directive in EU member states adopts different formulations (see e.g. Hodges
1993). This has been further highlighted by some of the Commission’s cases
brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), as mentioned in Chapter 2
and discussed further below (comparing PL Law Article 6). Member states were
also expressly permitted – and certainly took – various combinations of options
in implementation, notably the important ‘development risks’ defence discussed
below (comparing PL Law Article 4(1)), as shown in Table 3.1.