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Legitimacy, credibility and responsibilities of the (big) European third-party certifiers

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Résumé

This paper's first aim is to put the light on a specific and understudied category of European experts, the so-called notified bodies, which are involved in the regulation of industrial products markets and risks; and to focus on the few ones among them which grew dramatically since a few decades so to become " big third party certifiers " , and transnational regulatory intermediaries (Levi-Faur, Starobin, 2014). The question of the responsibilities of these bodies came out recently, when one of them, the renowned German certifier TÜV Rheinland, has been sued by victims in the French breast implants PIP scandal framework, and sentenced by a French (civil) Court for " having failed in its obligations of vigilance and caution ". In the paper, I analyze the Tribunal de Commerce de Toulon enquiry and ruling so to point out two complementary research issues. On one hand, French judges, as they had to understand as precisely as possible the certification procedures they had to judge, put the emphasis on the need of deeper scholarly investigations inside certification " black boxes " ,-the role of subsidiary companies inside certification processes for example. On the other hand, I would argue simultaneously that the PIP case should be analyzed with a more holistic approach: not only the big third party certifier, but also other rule-intermediaries (accreditation bodies), or rule-makers themselves could a priori be considered as partly responsible of this multilevel regulation failure.
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hal-01260173 , version 1 (21-01-2016)

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  • HAL Id : hal-01260173 , version 1

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Jean-Pierre Galland. Legitimacy, credibility and responsibilities of the (big) European third-party certifiers. the institutionnal foudations of capitalism, SASE (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics), Jul 2014, Chicago, United States. ⟨hal-01260173⟩
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