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Novus Actus and Beyond: Attributing Causal Responsibility in the Criminal Courts

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

du Bois-Pedain, Antje 

Abstract

Glanville Williams’ influential 1989 article on causation, “Finis for Novus Actus?”, addressed two pertinent questions: (1) when, and on what grounds, may a person be judged to bear causal responsibility for harms most immediately brought about by the subsequent action of another person (the locus classicus of the novus actus interveniens doctrine), and (2) how should questions of causation be resolved in cases where the potential cause in question constitutes an omission? This article revisits these questions through an engagement with some of the major causation cases decided in the criminal courts in the past decade. The discussion of these cases is set in the broader context of a critique of H.L.A. Hart and Tony Honoré’s influential doctrinal-theoretical framework for findings of legal causation, the autonomy doctrine, on which Williams had built his arguments.

Description

Keywords

4804 Law In Context, 48 Law and Legal Studies, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Journal Title

Cambridge Law Journal

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0008-1973
1469-2139

Volume Title

Publisher

Cambridge University Press