Pagespp xi - xv
Published date12 July 2022
Date12 July 2022
e contributions to this year’s volume of the Hibernian Law Journal demonstrate
once again the highest standards of legal writing which we have come to expect
from this leading journal. ese articles address wide ranging and rapidly evolving
areas of law which pose challenging questions for today’s scholars, practitioners, the
bench, and of course for policy makers.
Connor Hogg addresses the adoption of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and their
treatment by existing Australian and Irish product liability legal frameworks. In his
analysis he adopts a comparative socio-legal research methodology which usefully
contextualizes this radical innovation within broader society and the historical
development of product liability law. As he notes in his article the Greek myths
of Automatons show that for much of recorded history, we have had a fascination
with autonomous tools. As AVs may soon become a real product available on the
market, he asks if our current product liability laws both adequately facilitate
such innovations and protect the consumer. He acknowledges that while existing
product liability law in both jurisdictions, the Irish Liability for Defective Products
Act 1991 and the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010, are equipped
to consider defects in relation to hardware on and in AVs, new and dierent issues
arise in determining defectiveness in the AVs’ programming and algorithms with
the use of the consumer expectations test. He argues that this becomes more
challenging when one considers that consumers expect these vehicles to be free
from human error and thus infallible. He observes that the complex nature of the
product makes it challenging to adequately warn consumers of the potential risks.
Hogg notes that there is a ne line to balance when regulating so as not to restrict
the development of technology and legal uncertainty which may present too great
a liability for manufacturers. He concludes that existing frameworks have not been
draed to consider such radically innovative products and are not appropriately
equipped to determine liability. He proposes several routes for reform based on
laws governing the use of technology in other spheres such as surgical robotics and
the experiences of other jurisdictions to facilitate the growth of this industry.
In his article ‘Rethinking Irish Competition Law and Policy for the Sustainability
Era’ Eoin Jackson examines the Irish business regulatory framework and European
competition law in the context of the Climate Action Plan to achieve net zero
emissions by 2050 and broader initiatives such as the European Green Deal. He
analyses in depth the challenges posed to stakeholders hoping to achieve net
zero emissions by both the institutions and the frameworks themselves. One
of the primary issues arising is the use of State aid to nance green commercial
initiatives in the context of competition law. e lack of clarity regarding the
inclusion of environmental factors in determining the exemptions to Article 107

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT