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Presentation of safe design and.... Haut de page


 Judicial and Financial Aspects


 Safe design and dependability judicial aspects


 Jean-Marc PICARD (UTC)

Safe or robust design are words currently used. The precaution principle is a major concern in the news. The proposal to introduce an environmental chart in the Law did not calm the passions. 

The precaution principle fundamentally puts in question the equilibria and arbitrations that Law and jurisprudence ended to weave after more than a century in France as well as in Europe. 
Indeed three major questions raise after the precaution principle :
· rules of art  problem through its evocation of present scientific knowledge state
· put in question causality (cause - effect) which offered a junction  between Law and dependability by inducing  a relative uncertainty notion derived from the sentence "lack of certainty" . After this point arises the problem of probabilistic Law emergence.
· partition of two uncertainties : one weighing upon event probability of happening (occurrence probability) and the other weiging upon supposed severity . 
The recent transpositions of european guidelines (the 1985 guideline dealing with  responsability due to a defective product , more recently the guideline dealing with product safety or number of sectorial rules) load the designers with a civil and penal responsability always stronger. In fact when product life durations shorten, the afferent judicial responsabilities lengthen continuously.  
When judicial thought begins to clarify, the industrials lack any methodological approach regarding safe design at judicial risk level 
The fact to qualify as safe a design induces the problem of criteria used to this qualification: engineer criteria, customer criteria but never judges or lawyers who are not aware of dependability.  
What is the judicial relevance of dependability requirements ?
The industrial should integrate a judicial logic into the design process: how to succeed, how to translate it practically?   
We had undertaken with Christian Fremaux (sollicitor) and Alain Villemeur a work on the topic and could occasionnally mention it during ISDF breakfasts.
Today it seems to us of an utmost necessity that engineers and industrials, within the frame of IMdR, should work on this topic: What is a safe design for users, customer, society at large?
I do invite people interested in this group to contact me as to fix a first meeting.
We will precisely define our objective in terms of deliverable, the programme of work and the schedule of meetings. 
We will have preferrably a low number of plenary meetings with works in sub-groups and e-mail exchange. .

Jean-Marc Picard
Université de Technologie de Compiègne
Ancien industriel
33 1(0)6 75 02 95 06

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