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Novus Actus Interveniens in English Law

By Sara Joy - Law Student @ Downing College, Cambridge


Content warning: discussion of suicide in a legal context

A novus actus interveniens is an intervening act which can break the chain of causation, relieving the first actor of responsibility. In criminal law, this means that if a defendant stabbed the victim and they died, for example, provided a novus actus occurred in between, the defendant may be abso