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Causation In Tort Law

Posted on:2009-10-01Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:H T GeFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360245496169Subject:Legal theory
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
As an important factor of the system of liability-fixation in torts law, causation is used in everyday judicial practice. But as a basic academic problem, it has been argued and longs for being settled.Focusing on the character and function, this article studies the problem of causation in different ways. After introducing the value of the causation question briefly in the preface, causation is deeply discussed in historical, philosophic, systemic and typology ways. At last, conclusion is drawn.The whole idea of this article is as below. The study of history shows the status quo of causation: the theoretical confusion about the character and function. The discussion about foundation explains what function causation can offer to the tort law: causation deals with the factual things. The theory of relationship tells what kinds of job the tort liability-fixing system need causation to do: provides the factual chain of causation, but not the policy pondering. The theory of type offers supplying argument to the factual character of causation: confirm the bound of causation by separating fault and non-fault liability, clearing up special causation sorts re-demonstrates the causation's basic function which is providing the factual chains. The conclusion is that in fault liability monism of factual causation should be insisted, while eliminating policy pondering. In author's opinion, the system of liability-fixing being restructured does better both in theory and practice.The first chapter is on the history of causation theory. In this chapter, the author firstly introduces the history of causation theory in the two legal systems. And the author specifically analyzes the main doctrines in common law system including the rule of but for, the rule of substantial factors, the rule of direct cause and so on; the main doctrines in civil law including the condition sine qua none, reason, adequate causation and legal aim. What's more, the author introduces the influential theory on causation in criminal law. And then, the author turns the perspective into the theory in China. According to the history of causation theory, the author draw a conclusion that we should doubt on the dichotomy on the theory of causation, whether in civil law or common law. And in China, we are lack of philosophy, system study on causation theory.The second chapter is about the basic theories of torts law. On the basis of researching the fundamental characters of causation in torts law, this chapter aims at studying the cause theories concerned in philosophy. Firstly, the author studies the relationship between the theories of causation in philosophy and those in law. The author urges that on studying the causation in the torts law of China, the theoretic achievements about causation made in the field of philosophy should be still cleaned up totally. As the argument that differing the theories in philosophy from those in torts law and not taking the affluences of the theories of causation in philosophy into consideration when studying those in torts law as concerned, the author regards it is a kind of misunderstand resulting from the neglect and antipathy to the theories of causation in philosophy just because that the analytic system of inevitability and chanciness in philosophy fails to work in torts law. As a matter of fact, the causation of inevitability and chanciness is only one of the arguments of the causation theory in philosophy. In other words, it is only a kind of analytic path. Secondly, the author analyses three theories of consequence in philosophy which connect with those in torts law closely: theories of Hume's, Kant's and logical positivism (Reichenbach' s mainly). Hume urged that there is no inevitability in the things about actuality and just regarded the causation as the conventional imagination bases on the wonted connection of used things. Hume argued, in the meanwhile, however, the causation is the most trustable way of logical reasoning about actuality. The effects of Hume's conclusion lie in two ways. On the one hand, it broke down the myth of the inevitability of causation, which made people question the degree of actuality in the causation in torts law. On the other hand, Hume's conclusion told us that in all the ways of logical reasoning, the causation was the most trustable one, which meant that the causation did work in the liability fixation as usual. The irresistible place of Kant's casualty theory is his argumentation of causal relationship's inevitability. After a seriously inspection, we find out that Kant's inevitability is differ from Hume's inevitability theory on the relationship between factual things. Kant's inevitability means the contacts of real things in accordance with the inevitability of "innate causal relationship". Because of the innate causal relationship is the product of mind, so Kant turns the final foundation of causal relationship from objectivity to subjectivity. Kant's theory of inevitability has made no contribution to the objectivity of the judgment of causal relationship. Raichenbach's probability theory of causal relationship has made great contribution to the casualty theory in torts law. Raichenbach don't think that there are inevitable contacts between things, but he think that we can grasp the inevitable contacts with probability theory, if the inevitable contacts is true. Raichenbach believes that we can constantly near the "ultimate frequency" by observing and summing up the probability on the combination between two things. The "ultimate frequency" is the rule of the things' relationship. If there is no rule in the contacts of things, we lose nothing by this method. Therefore, the probability theory is the best method in grasping this contact. Under the perspective of Marxism, we can certainly accept the viewpoint of objectivity. The theory of probability provides the best way to ascertain the objective relationship. What's more, the method of statistical probability is objective and validated. That is to say, Raichenbach's theory sets the inevitability of causality aside, but it rebuilds the objectivity of causation. This conclusion has profound significance for the theory on causation in tort law, and provides firm philosophical ground for the tort law. In conclusion, the causation theory in philosophy provides core meaning for that in law. The objectivity in tort law is just a kind of probability, and it can't be distracted by human's will.The third chapter is on the relationship between causation and other factors. This chapter holds that liability fixation should be regarded as a complete system at the basis of systems theory. The reasonable liability fixation being a premise, clearing the functions of civil liability factors being an objective and functional replacement in policy pondering by other factors being an emphasis, this chapter discusses the internal and external relationship of causation.The causation problem can be divided into internal problems and the external problems by the criterion of liability factors system. In the interior, this chapter does research on the relationship among "liability fixation", negligence, damages and illegality and reaches a conclusion that other factors can completely accomplish functional replacement in policy pondering of causation. In the exterior, this chapter discusses the relationship among causation and legal policy, causation in criminal law. Causation is not a proper way in which legal policy goes into the field of liability fixation. Causation in criminal law and in civil law is the same in essence. Both of them point to the objective connection among events. To eliminate the legal policy from causation factor is favorable to accomplish validity of the verdict. Because the causation as a signboard is given up, policy pondering is easier to be supervised.The forth chapter is on the sorts of causation in tort law. In this chapter, the author firstly differentiates the causation between negligent liability and liability without fault, and then defines the field in which objective causation can be applied. In the filed of negligent liability, the author strikes to objective causation. Policy pondering should be completely eliminated from the definition of causation and make causation return to its original image. But when it comes to liability without fault, the author holds a cautious opinion. Now there are a variety of means to limit the liability, for example, illegality, limitation of compensation, comparative fault and so on, however, in one hand, the filed liability without fault covers is too wide and more new kinds of cases appear with social development, in the other hand, to eliminate policy pondering in this filed must be carefully considered due to lack of negligence which is the basic gate for policy pondering. In order to be sound, traditional dichotomy in causation can still be applied. In this section, I also discuss all kinds of special causation, for example, overlapping causation, one-selecting causation, overtaking causation, supposing causation, cumulative causation and so on. This chapter analyzes and coordinates the names and concepts of these kinds of causation. Furthermore, the author believes that study on different kinds of causation can help understand different kinds of causation links, clear up factual levels in cases and better sort out tort conduction. But this can only provide indirect help to liability fixation. Liability fixation is different due to different specific cases. This displays that "cutting off a section of causation links", that is to say liability fixation is an outcome of join forces of all factors again, not being solved by only causation. Finally, the author discusses relationship between common causation and association causation (psychological causation), defined causation and presumed causation, explanatory causation and liability fixation causation. The author holds probability theory can play a role in the psychological causation and presumed causation. As to psychological causation, the observation and statistics of people's action to special words and deeds can provide directions to defining psychological influence in concrete cases. As to presumed causation, there are mainly two points: one is the objective causation, the other is policy pondering. The function of probability theory is embodied by one of the two points.The last chapter is conclusion. Through the discussion in the above four sections, the author brings up the idea of objective causation monism. The concrete contents of this view are as follows: in the field of negligent torts, the main function of causation as one of liability fixation factors is to seek causation link which can display cases' fact, provide an objective basis for liability fixation and limit policy pondering arbitrarily in liability fixation. The definition of causation should be limited to factual level and can not carry merit judging and policy pondering. This actuality has two meanings: one is the actuality of the object, the other is the objective of the character.
Keywords/Search Tags:causation, cause in fact, cause in law, negligence, tort liability
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