THE PASSING OF POLEMIS

Authors

  • JOHN G FLEMING

Keywords:

Damages, Negligence, Torts

Abstract

Since the early nineteenth century there has been debate as to what should be the extent of responsibility for the consequences of negligent conduct. In this article the author discusses that debate in relation to the criteria of foresight and direct causation. In doing so, the author closely examines the decision in Re Polemis and Furness Withy & Co, as well as the Wagon Mound case. Through a thorough analysis of the foresight test, the author illustrates that the causal theory found in Polemis is extreme and that application of it remains isolated. The author suggests that the Polemis rule has had very limited practical effect and predicts that the role of the Wagon Mound case will also be a modest one.

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Published

1961-12-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary