Lachlan Caunt, ‘Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say: Rebuilding the Building Blocks of But-For Causation’

Abstract:
What does ‘causation’ actually mean? Is saying that an act ‘caused’ an outcome linked to an observable notion of cause and effect; or is such a statement based upon supposition and guesswork? This early draft article begins to break down and rebuild the term ‘causation’, and what is required to ‘prove’ a causal link in Canadian law. Courts, theorists, and practitioners have never neatly grasped the core of what causation means. The way science approaches cause is, by necessity, different to the way law approaches cause. The standards and nomenclature in the former are necessarily precise and ordered; the standards in the latter are, perhaps unnecessarily, less precise and disordered. This early draft (to which critical comments are greatly appreciated) works through the haze of imprecise language to begin to unearth what causation does, or perhaps should, mean.

Caunt, Lachlan Thomas, Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say: Rebuilding the Building Blocks of But-For Causation (July 25, 2017).

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