Chapter

Causation and Contract

H. L. A. Hart

in Causation in the Law

Second edition

Published in print May 1985 | ISBN: 9780198254744
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681523 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254744.003.0013
Causation and Contract

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Discussions of causation are much less prominent in books about contract than in books about tort. The reason for this is probably the following. In the first place, the harm for which compensation is to be paid in the law of contract is usually economic rather than physical, and establishing ‘causal connection’ between a breach of contract and economic loss. Second, the causal or near-causal problems which arise in actions for breach of contract are often relatively simple in comparison with the difficulty of determining the scope of the duty to pay damages, so that attention has been concentrated on the latter, but often in a terminology which straddles both issues and so makes it difficult to see what type of limitation on liability is being discussed. Third, liability in contract is more often based on the notion of risk than in tort.

Keywords: causation; economic loss; contract law; breach of contract; liability; harm; compensation

Chapter.  8613 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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