293766217 - Engineering Ethics Do engineers owe duties to...

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Engineering Ethics: Do engineers owe duties to the public? John Uff CBE QC FREng Nash Professor of Engineering Law, Kings College, London
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Engineering Ethics: Do engineers owe duties to the public? John Uff CBE QC FREng Nash Professor of Engineering Law, Kings College, London Contents Introduction 4 Codes of Conduct and the Institutions 5 Legislation governing safety and environment 7 Duties arising in contract 8 Limits on enforceability 9 Duties arising in tort 10 Ethical duties recognised by the law 11 Provisional conclusion as to public duties 12 Warnings of preventable disasters 13 Publication of relevant research and data 14 Can disclosure be restrained? 15 Consequences of unauthorised disclosure 16 Other means of securing disclosure 17 Amicus action by Institutions 17 Ethics in other roles of the Engineer 18 Conclusions 20 Acknowledgment 20
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Engineering Ethics: Do engineers owe duties to the public? © John Uff ISBN 1-903496-05-5 The information contained in this publication has been published in good faith and the opinions expressed are those of the author not of The Royal Academy of Engineering. The Academy can not accept any responsibility for any error or misinterpretation based on this information. Published by The Royal Academy of Engineering 29 Great Peter Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3LW Telephone 020 7222 2688 Facsimile 020 7233 0054 www.raeng.org.uk The Royal Academy of Engineering is a Registered Charity (No. 293074)
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John Uff CBE QC FREng Nash Professor of Engineering Law, Kings College, London Professor John Uff CBE QC FREng is an internationally renowned barrister and arbitrator and an authority on construction law. Having graduated with a BSc in Engineering from King's College London in 1963, he went on to gain a PhD in Geotechnics in 1966 and was called to the Bar in 1970. During the 1980s he served on the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers and has played a role in new ICE contract forms and arbitration procedures. In 1987 he established the Centre for Construction Law and Management at King's College where he continues teaching and research activities. He is perhaps best known publicly for chairing the Yorkshire Water Enquiry in 1996, the Southall Railway Accident Enquiry in 1999 and the Joint Public Enquiry into Railway Safety in 2000. Engineering Ethics: Do engineers owe duties to the public? The Royal Academy of Engineering 3 © James Hunkin
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4 The Royal Academy of Engineering Introduction The subject of "Engineering Ethics" is no longer novel: there is a growing body of literature, both in the United Kingdom 1 and elsewhere, 2 particularly in the USA. 3 The subject still lacks any generally accepted definition and its scope remains uncertain. However, a convenient summary of the practical objectives of the subject is to be found in the Codes of Conduct promulgated by the Engineering Institutions. The Codes currently in operation within the United Kingdom are briefly reviewed below. Taking these Codes as a starting point, I have selected for examination the narrow but significant question that underlies much of their content: "Do Engineers owe duties to the public?" In addressing this question, I shall
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