Conditio Sine Qua Non Theory

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a) In order to determine whether or not there is a factual causal connection between the injuries inflicted upon X during the fight and the eventual loss of X’s business, we need to look at the method of the conditio sine qua non theory and determine if there was actually a factual causal nexus. According to Van der Merwe and Olivier, conditio sine qua non theory is when an act is the cause of a result if the act cannot be thought away without the result also disappearing. This means that for an act to be the cause of a result, the result must not exist when the cause is mentally removed. This factual test for causation was accepted in the case of International Shipping Co (Pty) Ltd v Bentley. In the case of X, if the fight between X and Y…show more content…
Some believe that this theory is based on clumsy thinking and often people land up right where they started when trying to determine the connection. This theory also fails in cases where there is more than one act that caused the result. Some also believe that this theory is not a legitimate test of causation because it merely expresses a predetermined causal nexus. Despite these criticisms the conditio sine qua non test has a flexible approach as seen in the case of Lee v Minister of Correctional Services. In Minister of Finance v Gore, the court states that the conditio sine qua non theory is ‘a matter of common sense’. The flexible approach to this theory is supported because it accepts the practical way of thinking and is based on the real life experiences of people. The application of the conditio sine qua non, even in its flexible form can still lead to the denial of liability in certain cases since justice would denied if the defendant did not cause the…show more content…
At this point we now need to determine what factual causation is. Factual causation is a link/connection between at least two facts, where one fact arises from the other. One fact is the cause of another, one fact only exists because of the other. Because life is quite dynamic, it is quite difficult to find a general test for causality. A test for factual causation would then be based on what facts could be proved. This means that the factual causation would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. Factual causation is pure question of fact, it either exists or it doesn’t. Courts will usually test whether or not there was causation by examining the available evidence. When determining whether or not there is factual causation, the courts will usually look at whether a defendant’s conduct has in any way contributed to the damage sustained by the plaintiff. It is a fact that the fight between X and Y resulted in X being hospitalised and subsequently getting an infection, being administered penicillin and having an allergic reaction to it, resulting in brain injury and which ultimately led X to lose his

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