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Perspectives on Causation

Editor(s): Richard Goldberg
Media of Perspectives on Causation
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Published: 21-10-2011
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 478
ISBN: 9781849460866
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £110.00
Online price : £99.00
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Loren Epson

About Perspectives on Causation

The chapters in this volume arise from a conference held at the University of Aberdeen concerning the law of causation in the UK, Commonwealth countries, France and the USA. The distinguished group of international experts who have contributed to this book examine the ways in which legal doctrine in causation is developing, and how British law should seek to influence and be influenced by developments in other countries. As such, the book will serve as a focal point for the study of this important area of law.

The book is organised around three themes - the black letter law, scientific evidence, and legal theory. In black letter law scholarship, major arguments have emerged about how legal doctrine will develop in cases involving indeterminate defendants and evidential gaps in causation. Various chapters examine the ways in which legal doctrine should develop over the next few years, in particular in England, Scotland, Canada and the USA, including the problem of causation in asbestos cases. In the area of scientific evidence, its role in the assessment of causation in civil litigation has never been greater. The extent to which such evidence can be admitted and used in causation disputes is controversial. This section of the book is therefore devoted to exploring the role of statistical evidence in resolving causation problems, including recent trends in litigation in the UK, USA, Australia and in France and the question of liability for future harm. In the legal theory area, the so-called NESS (necessary element in a sufficient set) test of causation is discussed and defended. The importance of tort law responding to developing science and observations from the perspective of precaution and indeterminate causation are also explored.

The book will be of interest to legal academics, policy makers in the field, specialist legal practitioners, those in the pharmaceutical and bioscience sectors, physicians and scientists.

Table Of Contents

1. Causation
Rt Hon Lord Hoffmann
2. Risky Business: Causation in Asbestos Cancer Cases (and Beyond?)
Joseph Sanders
3. Developing Causal Doctrine
Martin Hogg
4. Causation, Politics and Law: The English – and Scottish –Asbestos Saga
Jonathan Morgan
5. Inferring Cause In Fact and the Search for Legal 'Truth'
Russell Brown
6. Causation in French Law: Pragmatism and Policy
Duncan Fairgrieve and Florence G'sell-Macrez
7. The Role of Scientific and Statistical Evidence in Assessing Causality
A Philip Dawid
8. Using Scientific Evidence to Resolve Causation Problems in Product Liability: UK, US and French Experiences
Richard Goldberg
9. Biostatistics and Causation in Medicinal Product Liability Suits
Peter Feldschreiber, Leigh-Ann Mulcahy and Simon Day
10. Proving Causation: Probability versus Belief
Richard W Wright
11. Liability for Future Harm
Ariel Porat and Alex Stein
12. Scientific and Medical Evidence in Causation Decisions: The Australian Experience
Ian Freckelton
13. The Challenge of Developing Science for the Law of Torts
Carl F Cranor
14. T he NES Account of Natural Causation: A Response to Criticisms
Richard W Wright
15. NESS for Beginners
Chris Miller
16. T he MMTS Analysis of Causation
Horacio Spector
17. Causing the Behaviour of Others and Other Causal Mixtures
Roderick Bagshaw
18. Law's Approach to Harm in the Context of Scientific Uncertainty: Observations from the Perspectives of Precaution and Indeterminate Causation
John Paterson


“...highly recommended for those looking for an overview of contemporary scholarship on causation in law.” –  Yearbook of European Tort Law 2011

“Perspectives on Causation is an excellent volume of essays. It contains several important contributions to each of the three (partly overlapping) "perspectives" which comprise the book
...this volume is a major contribution: anyone working on causation in the law will need to mull over many of its thought-provoking essays. The Supreme Court seems to agree: see Employers Liability Trigger Litigation [2012] UKSC 12 (e.g. per Lord Mance at [62]).
” –  Sandy Steel, The Edinburgh Law Review Volume 16, 2012

“In short, the use of the concept of causation in the law gives rise to philosophical legal and scientific problems. This collection of essays discusses many of these in a very thoughtful way and I believe it is a very constructive contribution to the development of the law in many fields.” –  From the Foreword by Rt Hon Lord Mackay of Clashfern, House of Lords, May 2011

“It is clear that proof of causation will continue to present new challenges, and by drawing together analysis from a range of perspectives this collection makes an invaluable contribution to understanding those challenges and to developing solutions for them.” –  Gemma Turton, Medical Law Review, Volume 22.1

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