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Street on Torts

Street on Torts (16th edn)

Christian Witting
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date: 26 May 2024

p. 1637. Causation and remotenesslocked

p. 1637. Causation and remotenesslocked

  • Christian WittingChristian WittingProfessor of Law, National University of Singapore, Barrister and Solicitor, High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria


This chapter examines the issues of causation and remoteness in negligence, which basically concern the links between breaches of duty and the consequences of those breaches and the strength of those links. The chapter considers in detail causation in fact, causation in law, and remoteness of damage. We find that courts have developed several important exceptions to the ordinary ‘but for’ test of factual causation, including the Fairchild principle. Fairchild can be considered as a departure from the normal requirement that the claimant must prove factual causation of damage. Legal causation is tested by looking for unexpected events called novi actus intervenientes. Remoteness is an issue of foreseeability of damage.

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