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Causation in the Law$
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H. L. A. Hart and Tony Honoré

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780198254744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254744.001.0001

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Causation and Contract

Causation and Contract

(p.308) XI Causation and Contract
Causation in the Law

H. L. A. Hart

Oxford University Press

Discussions of causation are much less prominent in books about contract than in books about tort. The reason for this is probably the following. In the first place, the harm for which compensation is to be paid in the law of contract is usually economic rather than physical, and establishing ‘causal connection’ between a breach of contract and economic loss. Second, the causal or near-causal problems which arise in actions for breach of contract are often relatively simple in comparison with the difficulty of determining the scope of the duty to pay damages, so that attention has been concentrated on the latter, but often in a terminology which straddles both issues and so makes it difficult to see what type of limitation on liability is being discussed. Third, liability in contract is more often based on the notion of risk than in tort.

Keywords:   causation, economic loss, contract law, breach of contract, liability, harm, compensation

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