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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 in Legal Theory

Causation in Legal Theory

(p.84) IV Causation in Legal Theory
Causation in the Law

H. L. A. Hart

Oxford University Press

The most frequent type of causal question which courts face is whether a human action or omission caused some specific harm; but even this one form of question may be relevant to legal responsibility in different ways. In criminal law this question usually has to be answered because criminal offences are often defined in simple terms as acts causing specific harms: in such cases a causal connection between some action of the accused and the specified harm must be shown in order to establish the existence of liability. Meanwhile, the task of` the jurist is not to search for general policies but rather to reveal the true character of the issues wrapped up in the blurred notions of causation and the strategy and procedure involved in their presentation to courts.

Keywords:   causal questions, harm, legal responsibility, causal connection, jurist, liability, causation

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