Category Archives: Causation

SH Bailey, ‘“Material contribution” after Williams v The Bermuda Hospitals Board

Abstract This paper reviews the status of the principle that a claimant can demonstrate a causal link between the defendant’s wrongful act or omission and his or her damage by establishing that the act/omission made a ‘material contribution’ to the damage. This principle has been reviewed, in the context of cumulative causes that cannot be […]

Gemma Turton, ‘Informed Consent to Medical Treatment Post-Montgomery: Causation and Coincidence’

Abstract If a patient suffers physical harm during medical treatment when a risk materialises which the doctor failed to warn the patient about, there are two key issues when a negligence claim is brought by the patient. First, it must be shown that the doctor was negligent in failing to warn the patient about the […]

Maria Cuellar, ‘Causal Reasoning and Data Analysis in the Law: Definition, Estimation, and Usage of the Probability of Causation’

Abstract Researchers often need to determine whether a specific exposure, or something else, caused an individual’s outcome. To answer questions of causality in which the exposure and outcome have already been observed, researchers have suggested estimating the probability of causation (PC). However, authors disagree about the proper definitions and identification strategies for PC, and current […]

‘Justifying Liability without Proof of Causation’

Emmanuel Voyiakis, Causation and Opportunity in Tort, 38 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 26 (2018). In ‘Causation and Opportunity in Tort’, Emmanuel Voyiakis offers a thought-provoking analysis of some of the field’s classic causation problems. His focus is upon situations where the crux of the causal difficulty is epistemic – for some reason or other, […]

Keren-Paz and Wright, ‘Liability for Mass Sexual Abuse’

Abstract When harm is caused to victims by multiple injurers, difficult issues arise in determining causation of, legal responsibility for, and allocation of liability for those harms. Nowhere is this more true than in child pornography and sex trafficking cases, in which individuals have been victimized over extended periods of time by hundreds or even […]

‘“Causal potency” and contributory negligence’

“A lot could be said on causation as it relates to contributory negligence, but in this post I will restrict myself to commenting briefly on two fairly recent cases. The first is the Supreme Court’s decision in Jackson v Murray [2015] UKSC 5. The facts were (in short) that on a winter’s evening, a thirteen-year-old […]

Emmanuel Voyiakis, ‘Causation and Opportunity in Tort’

Abstract This article shows that we can approach both ‘epistemic’ and ‘conceptual’ problems of causation in tort with the aid of a moral idea sketched out by HLA Hart and developed into a more general account by TM Scanlon. Applied to causation, that idea is that we may justify principles that require people to meet […]

Ori Herstein, ‘Legal Luck’

Abstract Explaining the notion of ‘legal luck’ and exploring its justification. Focusing on how legal luck relates to ‘moral luck’, legal causation and negligence, and to civil and criminal liability. Herstein, Ori J, Legal Luck (February 2, 2018). Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Luck, Ian M Church and Robert J Hartman eds (forthcoming).

Dmitry Karshtedt, ‘Divided Infringement, Economics, and the Common Law’

Abstract This essay responds to and builds on ‘Economic Theory, Divided Infringement, and Enforcing Interactive Patents’, an article published by Professor Keith Robinson. In his article, Professor Robinson analyzed liability under various tests courts have developed to address the so-called ‘divided infringement’ problem, which arises when multiple entities perform the steps of a method patent […]

Donal Nolan, ‘Causation and the Goals of Tort Law’

Abstract In this chapter, I explore the relationship between causation and the ‘goals’ of tort law. My contention is that it is impossible to understand or to resolve difficult questions concerning causation unless it is appreciated that these issues go to the heart of what tort law is about. The chapter is divided into three […]