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State Liability in TortA Comparative Law Study$
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Duncan Fairgrieve

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258055.001.0001

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Assessing the Causal Link

Assessing the Causal Link

(p.165) 6 Assessing the Causal Link
State Liability in Tort

Duncan Fairgrieve

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to clarify the attitude of the French and English courts toward state liability in tort with a comparative survey of prevailing tests of causation in each jurisdiction. The English courts adopted an approach of causal inquiry into the tort of negligence divided into a two-stage analysis — preliminary filter of factual causation using the causa sine qua non theory (but-for test) and the question of legal cause based on reasonable forseeability. On the other hand, the French courts asserted a unitary conception of causation — a nuanced approach which relies on various causal theories to address the problems of assessing liability. However, with both approaches, there is a concern for multiple causes such as third parties, contributory fault of the injured party, and independent natural events, as well as the matter of unlawful administrative acts.

Keywords:   state liability, English courts, factual causation, legal cause, French courts, tort, third parties, contributory fault, natural events, administrative acts

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