Engineering law

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Engineering law (or law in engineering) is the empirical study of the application of laws and legal strategy in engineering. Applied law aims to explain how law interacts with industry. The current school of thought within the academic community of lawyers and engineers is the pragmatic paradigm. Commonly, professionals have a Bachelors in Engineering and a Bachelors in Law, and increasingly commonly a Masters of Business Administration. Pragmatic application of laws means the empirical study of how a corporate legal framework should be adopted.

Graduate attributes and professional competencies[edit]

The requirements from the perspective of the Washington Accord are for engineering graduates to attain the following knowledge and skill: 'WA6: Apply reasoning informed by contextual knowledge to assess societal, health, safety, legal and cultural issues and the consequent responsibilities relevant to professional engineering practice and solutions to complex engineering problems.'

Sub topics[edit]

Key topic areas for engineering law are:

  • Contract administration, especially in construction, procurement, and supply chain.
  • Product liability, especially for manufactured products.
  • Intellectual property (IP) protection, which includes patents, copyrights, etc.
  • Safety legislation and regulations, which includes plant safety, risk management, food safety.
  • Standards and certification, which are product-specific constraints on design and testing processes.


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