Taking responsibility through marks of quality
In his inaugural lecture, Professor of Private Law Eric Tjong Tjin Tai recently advocated making a greater appeal to a sense of responsibility among businesses and consumers rather than imposing tighter regulation.
In the field of law, there are calls to make companies liable for their involvement in incidents in other countries. That liability could in principle also apply to the consumers who purchase the products of such companies. Dutch law would have to be amended to cover this type of collective liability.
According to Tjong Tjin Tai, however, we ought to encourage responsibility rather than tighten liability legislation further. It would perhaps be better to take the responsibility of individuals and companies as a starting point and to help them act in such a way as to achieve positive results abroad. Private law would then work in a supportive rather than a regulatory capacity.
One example of this is the mark of quality, whereby the assessment of a product is delegated to an external organization. In order to allow marks of quality to function properly, however, it may be necessary to give them partial exemption from liability, as long as they meet specific criteria.
Professor of Private Law Eric Tjjong Tjin Tjai expressed this view in his inaugural address on 21 January 2011 at Tilburg Universiyt. Title speech: On the boundaries of private law (Over de grenzen van het privaatrecht). More information: email@example.com