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date: 30 September 2023

p. 888. Causation

Intervening acts and remotenesslocked

p. 888. Causation

Intervening acts and remotenesslocked

  • Carol Brennan


This chapter discusses the law on intervening acts and remoteness. There are a range of situations in which the defendant’s act can be a cause of the claimant’s loss because it satisfies the ‘but-for’ test. However, this is followed by one or more events which contribute to the eventual damage in such a way that the chain of causation can be broken. This is sometimes referred to as an intervening act (or novus actus interveniens), and such acts can be divided into three categories: actions by the claimant himself, actions by a third party, and natural events. Remoteness is a simpler way of describing what is also known as causation in law, and is concerned with the extent of a defendant’s duty. The key case is The Wagon Mound (No 1) where the test of reasonable foreseeability of damage was adopted.

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