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Sample Coursework Paper on Causation

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Sample Coursework Paper on Causation


Causation denotes the association involving conduct and outcome. That is, causation offers a way of linking conduct to a resulting outcome, characteristically an injury. In criminal justice, causation is referred to as the actus reus (an act) from which an injury or other outcome occurrs and is shared with mens rea (a condition of mentality) to encompass the components of fault.  Causation is just appropriate when an outcome has been attained thus is inconsequential as regards inchoate crimes (Abraham, 2013).      

Ascertaining causation is necessary to determine legal liability, the conditions are essential prior to concluding that a given variable results to another involves a two-phase analysis. The first phase entails determining ‘factual’ causation. Did the defendant result to the plaintiff’s loss? This has to be ascertained prior to questioning into the legal causation (Morris, 2014). The second phase entails determining legal causation, which is frequently an inquiry of public strategy: is this the situation where, in spite of the result of the factual question, there might nonetheless be the release the defendant from liability, or enact accountability?

The normal technique of determining factual causation is but-for test, which investigates ‘But for the defendant’s conduct, could the harm have happened?’ If A fires a bullet at B, the question that lingers is ‘But for A’s conduct could B have been injured?’ The response is ‘No’ and we resolve that A led to the harm of B. In this regard, but-for test is an investigation of necessity since it asks if it was ‘necessary’ for the conduct of the defendant to have happened for the injury to have arose. Among the weaknesses of but-for test is one that occurs where every one of numerous conducts alone are adequate to lead to the injury (Morris, 2014). For instance, if X and Y shoot at Z simultaneously, and Z dies, it would not be possible to affirm that but-for X shooting, or but-for Y shooting alone, Z could not have died.

In spite of the reality, that causation could be determined in the aforementioned cases; the law frequently intercedes and affirms that it will nonetheless not hold the defendant responsible since in the happenings the defendant is not to be comprehended, in an official judgment, as having brought about the loss. In the US, this is referred to as the rule of proximate cause. Novus actus interveniens that denotes a fresh intervening conduct is a vital principle that could hack the sequence of causation (Morris, 2014).          

The connection in causation ought to be compatible with the prevailing theory and information. In brief, it is important to assess allegations of causality in the perspective of the present situation of understanding in a certain discipline and in associated disciplines (Abraham, 2013). What must be sacrificed concerning what is presently known to recognize a given allegation of causality? For instance, what has to be discarded concerning the present understanding of anthropology, religious studies, biology, and history to determine the Creationist affirmation that the universe as outlined in the Bible approximately a couple of millenniums ago? Likewise, in what manner are racists and sexists theories of intelligence consistent with the present comprehension of the functioning of genes and their mode of inheritance from a cohort to a subsequent one? Nevertheless, similar to the concerns of plausibility, studies that differ with reputable theory and understanding are not by design fake. Forcing a reassessment of established beliefs and values is the criterion measure that would be utilized to assess or evaluate a scientific theory.  Every presently acknowledged theory, encompassing Evolution and theories are called creation, were once fresh notions that challenged accepted views; such transformations in established paradigm shifts.




Abraham, K. S. (2013). Self-Proving Causation. Va. L. Rev., 98(1), 1811-1893.

Morris, J. (2014). Dirty Harriet: The Restatement (Third) of Torts and the Causal Relevance of Intent. Texas Law Review, 92(6), 1685-1715.



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