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Interaction Between the Civil Liability System and the No-Fault Compensation Scheme

Currently there are two parallel systems of remedy for the harms caused by vaccination: the civil liability system and the no-fault compensation scheme for adverse events following immunization (AEFI). At the level of constitutive elements, the main problem with this dual system is that the meanings of such core concepts as fault and causality are not exactly the same in the two systems, which may result in loopholes in remedy. From the perspective of practical operation, the civil liability system shows great respect for and heavy reliance on the administrative mechanism while the no-fault compensation scheme fails to take into full consideration its linkage with the civil liability system, thus resulting in inadequate performance of its remedial function. Meanwhile, both systems are faced with difficulties in the determination of causality in cases of AEFI. Empirical studies show that the role played by the no-fault compensation scheme in substituting the civil liability system in AEFI cases is limited. In order to realize the positive interaction between the two systems and provide adequate remedies to victims of public health AEFI, it is necessary to establish the linkage between the no-fault compensation scheme and the civil liability system in accordance with the compensation claim mechanism, apply the technique of presumption of causation within a certain scope, and reconstruct the sources of compensation funds. As far as the civil liability system is concerned, China should make specific determinations on defects in vaccine products or negligence in inoculation in each individual case and continuously shape and adjust standard of conduct and social order along with scientific and technological advancements and economic and social developments.

主办:中国社会科学院法学研究所、国际法研究所
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