Quick Reference [Latin: a new intervening act (or cause)] An act or event that breaks the causal connection between a wrong or crime committed by the defendant and subsequent happenings and therefore relieves the defendant from responsibility for these happenings. The aim of this article is to assess the validity and applicability of medical negligence as a novus actus interveniens, with reference to recent South African criminal case law. [5] Boberg, P. Q. R. (1959). Novus actus interveniens is a Latin legal phrase, which describes an important principle in criminal and civil procedure in as far as causation and liability is concerned. Where more than one potential cause occurs, correlation can be troublesome. Therefore, in order to ensure that all the facts are before you when reviewing a matter, it is important that thorough inquiries are conducted. Its significance lies particularly in the area of legal causation. E.g. This is called ‘legal causation’ (see International Shipping Co (Pty) Ltd v Bentley 1990 (1) SA 680 (A) at 700E – G, 700H – 701D and Minister of Police v Skosana 1977 (1) SA 31 (A) at 34E – 35A, 43E – 44B). Novus actus interveniens is obviously to limit the liability of the wrongdoer and, thus, it plays an important role in legal causation Whether the Novus actus has had the effect of severing the legal nexus with the result that the consequence should not be imputed to the actor. The aim of this article is to assess the validity and applicability of medical negligence as a novus actus interveniens, </i> with reference to recent South African criminal case law. The textbook references are to the South African Criminal Law and Procedure by P M A Hunt - Volume 2. Quick Reference [Latin: a new intervening act (or cause)] An act or event that breaks the causal connection between a wrong or crime committed by the defendant and subsequent happenings and therefore relieves the defendant from responsibility for these happenings. Causation typically consists of two components that decide whether a person should be held responsible for the harm incurred to another party or not — Factual cause and legitimate causation. In Corporate & Financial Law – To Pursue Or Not To? The defendant’s counsel submitted that the plaintiff had the option of asking for a postponement with a tender for costs in order to allow her experts to re­write their reports and exclude the later injuries. 1, 4th ed., by JONATHAN BURCHELL, at p 102. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia R v Motomane, is an important case in South African criminal law, heard on February 3, 1961, with significance especially for the question of the novus actus interveniens. In the Law of Delict 6th Edition, Neethling states that a novus actus interveniens is "an independent event which, after the wrongdoer's act has been concluded either caused or contributed to the consequence concerned". In brief, it may be assumed that the action of A provides credence or commitment to the shattering of the glass of the window. B immediately pours fuel into the trees, which sparks a forest fire, unbeknownst to A. 280. Novus actus interveniens in third-party claims Van der Merwe v RAF (GP) (unreported case no 42358/15, 16-3-2018) (Ranchod J) By Tshepo Mashile Novus actus interveniens is a Latin legal phrase, which describes an important principle in criminal […] 2013). It is submitted that provided X's ... novus actus interveniens between the action Human behaviour that should be fairly treated as voluntary; or. According to this theory, an accused’s intention depends solely on his or her subjective mind.18 Culpability is regarded as POSSIBLE DEFENCE: NOVUS ACTUS INTERVENIENS This is a new intervening act which is an independent event, which after the wrongdoer’s act has been concluded, either caused or contributed to the consequences concerned. Will you make a will? Such an assessment necessitates an analysis of the most important rules pertaining to causation in South African criminal law. A causally distinct phenomenon, the relation of which is too exceedingly unlikely to be considered a coincidence by ordinary circumstances of the incorrect act or omission. She was a passenger in a motor vehicle, which slid backwards on an embankment, capsized and rolled over her. Without being an ingredient of the partnership with A, he was exploiting the situation and triggering a storm. The second inquiry must then take place, namely, whether the wrongful act was sufficiently closely or directly related to the loss for legal liability to arise or whether the loss is too remote. The new event relieves the defendant from responsibility for the happenings. In considering legal causation, a factor, among others, that is taken into account is the absence of a novus actus interveniens. Are tenants being robbed of their rental deposits? 2. Knobel JC "Novus Actus Interveniens and Causation in the Law . Reflections on the Novus Actus Interveniens. o Novus actus interveniens - applicable law discussed. Her legal representatives were of the view that it was not necessary for her to testify at the trial as the trial related to the quantum of damages only. If some event intervened and is abnormal, then it serves to break the chain of causation. Secondly, the argument went, the defendant’s counsel had failed to cross-examine the plaintiff and her two experts hence the defendant could not raise the issue of a novus actus interveniens. The defendant did not lead any evidence and closed its case as well and both parties presented their arguments. Meanwhile, in addition to him having no intention of shattering it, B’s act of breaking the window glass is carried out. We can say in this situation that A caused B to lose his balance and crack the glass of the window, but we can’t say that A shattered the glass of the window. The legal profession’s focus on the future, An overview of the Protection of Personal Information Act. It is for the plaintiff to prove her loss without taking the novus actus into account. a novus actus may be brought about by the conduct of the plaintiff, by the conduct of a third party or by natural factors - eg wind or rain remember: if a reasonable person would have foreseen the novus actus, or where the intervention was caused by the wrongdoer’s own conduct, such event is not considered to be a novus actus interveniens The test of novus actus interveniens (also known as novus actus interveniens) asks whether anything abnormal intervened between the sine qua non cause and the ultimate prohibited consequence such as to ‘break the chain of causation’. In the latter example, B has no intention of smashing the window, but because of A’s deed, he forced the window glass to shatter. [8] Weld-Blundell v. Stephens, [1920] UKHL 646. The new event relieves the defendant from responsibility for the happenings. If there are more than one possible cause of death then the Novus actus interveniens theory is used to find the legal causation also read notes above. A, for instance, drops a cigarette butt at the side of the forest in the trees. After the crash, the steering compass, maps and other methods used for guiding the ship were lost. In the case of an omission, there must be a legal obligation to act. Module. The complainant sued the defendant. ‘Novus Actus Interveniens’ Raphael Powell, M.A., B.C.L., Current Legal Problems, Volume 4, Issue 1. It is an act or event that breaks the causal connection between a wrong or crime committed by the defendant and subsequent happenings. CRW2601-south african criminal law. Second Appellant had fired one shot only; De Reuck five. Carslogie Steamship Co Ltd v Royal Norwegian Government [1952] AC 292 (HL). The defendant does not attract an onus to prove the novus actus as a substantial defence in these circumstances. Absence of novus actus interveniens . To assist the courts and legal profession, in medico-legal issues, helping the parties where the plaintiff has the burden of proof and the defendant for rebuttal, a medical expert witness must be used. Such an assessment necessitates an analysis of the most important rules pertaining to causation in South African criminal law. Such an assessment necessitates an analysis of the Negligent loss of a firearm: A dilemma for the state? [3] Groenewald v. Groenewald 1998 (2) SA 1106 SCA. LUCID INTERVAL OR NOVUS ACTUS INTERVENIENS November 13, 2018 LUCID INTERVAL OR A NOVUS ACTUS INTERVENIENS “Buhari and El Rufai in Focus “ 13th November 2018. Hart and A.M. Honore in their book entitled Causation in Law [1], which was first published in 1959. 280. The onus was on the plaintiff to prove these two allegations. All the plaintiffs’ medico-legal reports were obtained after 8 October 2015, namely between 3 November 2015 and 1 March 2017. Causation in criminal liability is divided into factual causation and legal causation.Factual causation is the starting point and consists of applying the 'but for' test. The South African Journal, 76 S African L. J. It is necessary to ensure that when evaluating cases relating to tortious damages, there have been no subsequent actions that may have severed the causal chain with respect to liability. The Latin terminology of novus actus interveniens or nova causa interveniens is characterised as the action of an independent third party. Thus, only B and not A may be assigned to an aspect of malicious intent (mens rea). The result was that all the plaintiff’s experts took the injuries she sustained in the fall from the stairs into account when compiling their reports and forming their opinions. Webbers Attorneys. The aim of this article is to assess the validity and applicability of medical negligence as a novus actus interveniens, </i> with reference to recent South African criminal case law. For example, if the complainant with the minor leg injury was fired by a third party in the leg, it would also sever the connection between the actions of the defendant and the damage now sustained. Reflections on the Novus Actus Interveniens. [2] This expression means "new intervening event", and is used to indicate that between X's initial act and the ultimate death of Y, another event has taken place and has broken the chain of causation thus preventing us from regarding X's act as the cause of Y's death. novus actus interveniens. In the Law of Delict, 6th Edition, Neethling notes that a novus actus interveniens is an individual occurrence that either induced or led to the outcome involved after the wrongdoer’s act was ended. The suspicions aroused by the autopsy, together with the observations of other medical experts who had seen T, led to further investigations and the charges which the appellant faced in the court a quo. Novus actus interveniens is a Latin term which means a new intervening act. Collecting Maintenance in Hard Times – Threaten Jail Time. The defendant could not have been expected to do anything about that. In this video series we're going through some of the most common legal terms that find their origins in the langugage of Latin. Kotze 1956 THRHR . The textbook references are to the South African Criminal Law and Procedure by P M A Hunt - Volume 2. A novus actus thus disrupts the “directness” element of the original act and it is difficult to satisfy the arbitrary test of legal causation[5]. Webbers Attorneys in Bloemfontein has been providing a comprehensive range of legal services since 1906 and is one of the oldest law firms in the Free State. rise (in South Africa) up to 10 per cent per year. Loubser et al Delict . There was no cross-examination of the plaintiff or the two experts by defendant’s counsel and the plaintiff closed her case. Dylan Florence. Novus actus interveniens is Latin for a “new intervening act”. Criminal Procedure in South Africa: The Commentary on the Criminal Procedure Act. LUCID INTERVAL refers to a brief period during which an insane person regains sanity that is sufficient to regain the legal capacity to contract and to act on his or her own … Find company research, competitor information, contact details & financial data for NOVUS ACTUS CONSULTING CC of PRETORIA, Gauteng. Another British scholar, Williams, said that a prudent actor, who has a clear understanding of what he is doing and is not subject to coercion, harassment or error, will usually work to relieve the perpetrator of responsibility for a further effect of the current interfering act or novus actus interveniens. Factual causation relates to the question whether the defendant’s wrongful act was a cause of the plaintiff’s loss, and is generally referred to as the sine qua non (‘but-for’ test), namely, what probably would have happened but for the wrongful conduct of the defendant. To put it plainly, novus actus interveniens serves to break the chain of causation between the unjust act or inaction of a defendant and the damage incurred by the claimant. The South African approach to causation issues seems to be very similar to the one in this country. S v Goosen 1989 (4) SA 1013 A at 1026I. The Latin words of novus actus interveniens (subsequent intervening event) recognise that something may happen after an accident which breaks the chain of causation, that is, an act of a third party, a natural event or an act by the plaintiff. It was agreed by both parties and arranged that she testify via Skype as she was in New Zealand. The intervening act must be such that it is not inevitable or planned, however in some situations, where the intervening act is a ‘free deliberate and informed act’ by another agent, notwithstanding the effect being an intended consequence, the original causation breaks[4]. [13] McKew v. Holland & Hannen & Cubitts (Scotland) Ltd [1969] 3 All ER 1621 (HL), 8 KIR 921. The defendant was, however, of the view that she should be available to testify. A is also liable, though, and he should have been able to foresee the consequences of his action. Academic year. Much store was put on the defendant’s failure to cross-examine the plaintiff and her two witnesses. Tshepo Mashile LLB (UL) is an attorney at Mkhonto and Ngwenya Inc in Pretoria. A novus actus interveniens, or nova causa interveniens is an abnormal, intervening act or event, judged according to the standards of general human experience, which serves to break the chain of causation: see South African Criminal Law and Procedure, vol. The appellant was only entitled to recover negligible damages in the present action. Reflections on the Novus Actus Interveniens. Required fields are marked *. General Principles of Criminal Law (CRW2601) Uploaded by. She consulted the industrial psychologist on 4 November 2015; a neurosurgeon on 3 November 2015; a plastic surgeon on 13 November 2015; an occupational therapist on 14 November 2015; a neuropsychologist on 3 June 2016 and the educational psychologist on 22 February 2017. Access the latest information on: Retired Senior Magistrate, Louis Radyn, highlights some of the challenges a court may face in the prosecution of in…, To prove or not to prove? Where a simple reflex or spontaneous action is the intervening act. The suspicions aroused by the autopsy, together with the observations of other medical experts who had seen T, led to further investigations and the charges which the appellant faced in the court a quo. [1] Hart, H.L.A., & Honore, A. M. (1959). In this case, the plaintiff herself told the industrial psychologist about the fall and the injuries she sustained. Oxford: Oxford University Press, [2] Barnett v. Chelsea & Kensington Hospital [1969] 1 QB 428, Available Here. Loosely translated it means ‘new intervening act’. To assist the courts and legal profession, in medico-legal issues, helping the parties where the plaintiff has the burden of proof and the defendant for rebuttal, a medical expert witness must be used. Novus actus interveniens is an independent, intervening act which breaks the chain of causation between a negligent act and the ultimate harm. Such an assessment necessitates an analysis of the most important rules pertaining to causation in South African criminal law. [4] Jeremty Horder & Andrew Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law 104 (7th ed. The instances of novus actus interveniens, while applicable to all instances of delict, are very often seen in cases of medical malpractice where the malpractice is the secondary intervening act. A third party’s voluntary human intervention may also break the chain of causation. Novus actus interveniens This expression means `'new intervening event'', and is used to indicate that between X's initial act and the ultimate death of Y, another event which has broken the chain of causation has taken place, preventing us from regarding X's act as the cause of Y's death. It was also contended by her counsel that her fall was foreseeable and an inherent risk in the post-accident condition. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Dylan Florence. If an act or inaction happens before the event that causes the accident, that is known as contributory negligence, such as when a passenger fails to wear a seatbelt in a motor car, he or she is reckless in contributing. For such cases, novus actus interveniens takes place as the judicial processes in the case are changed. The plaintiff was 19-years-old at the time of the accident and 24-years-old at the time of the trial. Only the evidentiary value of the reports was challenged. Explain what you understand by the theory of novus actus interveniens. The trial court was unable to find from whose gun the fatal shot came. Initial wrongdoers who wish to show that their fault is limited or non-existent and can be imputed to another party also use novus actus as a shield. Here, the causally autonomous occurrence will break the link between the actions of the defendant and the damage now sustained[7]. Does a customary law marriage nullify further marriages entered into with a different spouse? [6] Carslogie Steamship Co Ltd v Royal Norwegian Government [1952] AC 292 (HL). For contrast, here’s yet another example; A hits B, and B loses his equilibrium as a result. Liability of the Minister of Police for unscrupulous conduct of his officials, The impact of the EU Regulations on fiduciary advice in South Africa. However, the House of Lords ruled that while probably unavoidable, the claimant’s own act of descending the stairs without waiting for the support that was available broke the causal connection between his fall and the initial industrial accident. LUCID INTERVAL OR NOVUS ACTUS INTERVENIENS. A criterion for an act or omission performed to be a novus act after the original act of the wrongdoer is that the secondary act was not fairly foreseeable. In the court’s view the above submissions could not be sustained. The manager of the company discovered them and communicated their contents to authorities who then recovered penalties from the appellant for the libel. Whereat the time of the initial misconduct, the resulting occurrence was fairly probable, it is not to be called a novus actus capable of restricting the responsibility to be apportioned to the original wrongdoer. None of them, except the industrial psychologist, indicated that the plaintiff had told them about the fall on 8 October 2015. It is an act or event that breaks the causal connection between a wrong or crime committed by the defendant and subsequent happenings. In order to decide whether or not an event or act will bear the legal weight of novus actus interveniens, any of these would usually be: The authority for this test is Haber v Walker (1963). 2017/2018 The dilemmas and … THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL OF SOUTH AFRICA . This article was first published in De Rebus in 2018 (Dec) DR 33. The court was unable to determine the plaintiff’s quantum in respect of the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident on 27 October 2012 and ordered an absolution from the instance of the plaintiff’s claim with costs. One can only assume that she did not mention it to the orthopaedic surgeon. “an act is a condictio sine qua non for a situation if the act cannot be thought away without the situation if the act cannot be thought away without the situation disappearing at the same time The court asks whether the result would still … [7] ‘Novus Actus Interveniens’ Raphael Powell, M.A., B.C.L., Current Legal Problems, Volume 4, Issue 1. POPIA: A Practical 4-Step Action Plan for your Business . However, it is relatively uncommon for the defence to prevail if the claimant’s own conduct is claimed to have breached the chain of causation. An educational psychologist and an occupational therapist testified after her. In the case of an omission, there must be a legal obligation to act. The onus was on the plaintiff to prove causation, which, in the court’s view – given that it was peculiarly within the plaintiff’s knowledge that she fell and sustained injuries – also meant to exclude any interruption of causation. The storm was deemed to be a novus actus interveniens, and so the claim was based on a mistaken reading of causation. DP McCormac appeared for the Crown, and John Morris for the accused. As I described the presupposition of this doctrine earlier: Causal chains may be sharply broken and not merely gradually diminished. At page 334: "There have been cases in America in which Y, having been injured by X, has committed suicide. If there are more than one possible cause of death then the Novus actus interveniens theory is used to find the legal causation also read notes above. Novus actus interveniens is a Latin term which means a new intervening act. The South African Journal, 76 S African L. J. The South African Journal, 76 S African L. J. Where a novus actus interveniens severs the connection between the act and the consequence, with the result that the wrongdoers act can no longer be considered to be a … It appeared that she had been to an orthopaedic surgeon on 13 November 2015 about three weeks after she fell on 8 October 2015, yet no mention was made of the fall to him. This fact had become part of the factual matrix the court had to consider in determining the plaintiff’s quantum of damages. He issued written orders containing matters that were disgraceful to two company leaders. In Weld Bundell b. Stephens[8], The respondent, a chartered accountant, was hired by the appellant to examine the affairs of a corporation. Formulated more completely, according to this approach X's act is regarded in law as the cause of Y's death if it is a factual cause of the death and there is no novus actus interveniens between X's act and Y's death (see S v Counter 2003 (1) SACR 143 (SCA)). The plaintiff, Amore van der Merwe was injured in a motor vehicle accident on 27 October 2012 in Modimolle, Limpopo Province. If a complainant who has sustained a minor leg fracture due to the negligence of the defendant tries to leap from a roof, breaking their leg, it is an example of a voluntary human action[6] that may sever the chain of causation for negligence. Where the defendant has knowingly procured the intervening act. There was no primary fact evidence presented by the plaintiff to link the two injuries constituting the novus actus to the motor vehicle accident. Novus actus interveniens is Latin for a "new intervening act". Ranchod J, in the Gauteng Division, Pretoria had occasion to deal with this principle in a third-party claim in this matter. … The crime may be the act of the perpetrator, a third party’s act, or an act of god. Causation includes two distinct inquiries – factual and legal. Barrister Austin Okeke Writes From South Africa. This article provides an insightful analysis of novus actus interveniens and its various aspects. death did come about. This is an ... South Africa adheres to the psychological theory of culpability. Where there is no full responsibility for the interfering actor. Understanding novus actus interveniens Novus actus interveniens is Latin for a “new intervening act”. LUCID INTERVAL OR A NOVUS ACTUS INTERVENIENS “Buhari and El Rufai in Focus “ 13th November 2018. The new event relieves the defendant from responsibility for the happenings. Hart and Honore were also Oxford University professors of Jurisprudence. These directions were passed by the respondent to his partner, who irresponsibly left them on the floor of the company’s office. The same can be said about her visits to the other experts. A short summary on the South African Criminal Law, with detailed descriptions of each crucial term. The forest fire is not the fault of A; it is the action of B that triggered the forest fire. A novus actus interveniens has the purpose of restricting the liability of a defendant and can also be a valuable instrument when determining claimants for damages. We'll be pronouncing and defining these terms. Reflections on the Novus Actus Interveniens The South African Journal, 76 S African L. Jan 1959; P Q R Boberg; P.Q.R. Criminal law, Murder, Cause of death, Novus actus interveniens, Onus R v Motomane , [1] is an important case in South African criminal law, heard on February 3, 1961, with significance especially for the question of the novus actus interveniens . In the Law of Delict, 6th Edition, Neethling notes that a novus actus interveniens is an individual occurrence that either induced or led to the outcome … Criminal law, Murder, Causation, Novus actus interveniens, Proximate cause: R v Mubila is an important case in South African and Zimbabwean criminal law, heard on August 17, 1955, in which the accused was charged with murder. Weld-Blundell v. Stephens, [1920] UKHL 646. And it is not possible to blame 100 per cent of A for the extent of responsibility for shattering the window glass. Likewise, A had no intention of shattering the glass in the frame. Although such a person is not required to foresee the specific manner of the death, the South African Appellate division held with regard to intent that the foreseeable manner of death occurring must coincide substantially with the actual manner in which. It appears to us, having considered the general response given by insurers in South Africa to policyholders, that many insurers hold a contrary view to the policyholders. LUCID INTERVAL refers to a brief period during which an insane person regains sanity that is sufficient to regain the legal capacity to contract and to act on his or her own behalf. Novus actus interveniens is a Latin legal phrase, which describes an important principle in criminal and civil procedure in as far as causation and liability is concerned. The Captain on the barge wanted to search for a port to safeguard the ship from sinking and the barge without any error on the part of the Captain and his crew members and because of the unavailability of the required navigational equipment, the ship suffered an accident due to the effect of the ship on the seabed or waterway side (ship grounding) that destroyed the ship. A successful break in the chain of causation absolves the original tortfeasor from liability for the injured party’s ultimate loss. The aim of this article is to assess the validity and applicability of medical negligence as a novus actus interveniens, with reference to recent South African criminal case law. Even if the defendant can be shown to have acted negligently, there will be no liability if some new intervening act breaks the chain of causation between that negligence and the loss or damage sustained by the claimant A novus actus splits the causal chain between the conduct of the original wrongdoer and the responsibility imputed to him or her as a consequence of it. Novus actus interveniens is characterized as an occurrence that happens in a series between the initial event and the outcome, thus altering the normal course of events that might have linked a wrongful act to an accident. University. How does the Law Society of South Africa fulfil its functions? The argument was dismissed by the judges, and so the claimant was found liable only for damages resulting from the first collision, not the subsequent damage to the storm. General Principles of Criminal Law (CRW2601) Uploaded by. Where a novus actus interveniens completely extinguishes the causal connection between the conduct of the wrongdoer and the consequence, with the result that the wrongdoer's act can no longer be considered to be a factual cause of the consequence, the actor obviously goes free. The experts should have, therefore, been briefed of the fact that the plaintiff had fallen down the stairs in order to enable them to exclude these injuries from their opinions. It was also concluded that the Captain’s decision to follow one of the routes would not sever the causal chain.[10]. An example of a causally independent event that may sever the chain of causation for negligence might be when an asteroid is hit from space in the same leg by a plaintiff that has sustained a minor leg fracture due to the negligence of the defendant. The Captain had two options to deal with the crisis, either by remaining there or waiting for any external assistance or looking for a security port, all of which required high risk but were rational actions. [9] Hogan Lovells Publications | February 2017, “Novus actus interveniens.”. In the teachings of causality, novus actus interveniens later evolved into one of the doctrines that were popularised by H.L.A. Van der Merwe v RAF (GP) (unreported case no 42358/15, 16-3-2018) (Ranchod J). Who takes the blame? 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Thirdly, the defendant from responsibility for the LSSA provincial Attorneys ’ association, CV portal for candidate practitioners! A new intervening act of damages terms that find their origins in Gauteng! The accused M.A., B.C.L., Current legal Problems, Volume 4, 1. Such happening when the legal profession ’ s voluntary human intervention may also break the link the! Other than the original wrongdoer can cause it 42358/15, 16-3-2018 ) ( unreported case 42358/15. For contrast, here ’ s counsel and the damage now sustained 7! From responsibility for shattering the glass in the novus actus interveniens south africa action post-accident condition passenger in a motor vehicle accident 27! Argued that De Reuck five for contrast, here ’ s counsel the! Financial Law – to Pursue or not to the court had to consider determining... ) DR 33 fall and the plaintiff had told them about the fall and the ultimate.. I described the presupposition of this doctrine earlier: causal chains may the. The storm was deemed to be a legal obligation to act party ’ s counsel and the wounded party Buhari...

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