Duhaime's Law Dictionary

In Jure Non Remota Causa Sed Proxima Spectatur Definition:

Latin: In law the near cause is looked to, not the remote one.

Related Terms: Causa Proxima Et Non Remota Spectatur, Causation

Also sometimes rendered in the abbreviated form of causa proxima et non remota spectatur.

Broom translated the maxim as follows:

"In law the immediate, not the remote cause of any event is to be regarded."

A maxim that has shaped tort law and the branch of tort law known as causation.

According to Broom, it is to in jure non remota causa sed proxima spectatur that Justice Blackburn made reference to when he wrote this in Sneesby v Lancashire (as did Justice Pomeroy of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine in Wing v Morse):

"No doubt the rule of our law is that the immediate cause, the causa proxima, and not the remote cause, is to be looked at; for as Lord Bacon says (at Bac. Max. Reg. 1), 'It were infinite for the law to judge the causes of causes and their impulsions one of another; therefore it contenteth itself with the immediate cause, and judeth of acts by that, without looking to any further degree.'."


  • Bacon, Francis, A Collection of Some Principall Rules and Maximes of the Common Lawes of England With Their Latitude and Extent (1632)
  • Broom, Herbert, A Selection of Legal Maxims Classified and Illustrated, 10th Ed., (London: Sweet & Maxwell Limited, 1939), pages 138-151.
  • Milashenko v. Co-operative Fire & Casualty, 1 D.L.R. (3d) 89 (1968, SKCA)
  • Sneesby v Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, [1874] 9 Q.B. 263, at page 266.
  • Wing v Morse, 300 A. 2d 49 (1973; see Footnote #1)

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