In Jure Non Remota Causa Sed Proxima Spectatur – Legal Maxim

Literal Meaning

In law not the remote but the proximate cause is looked at.


It is a maxim which simply means that in law not the remote but the proximate cause is looked at. The Maxim, In Jure, Non Remota Causa, Sed Proxima Spectatur does not, however, apply to any transaction originally founded in fraud and much less in Proved crime, for the law will look to the corrupt beginning and consider it as one entire act.’


It is a Latin Maxims that has shaped the tort law and the branch of tort law known as causation.


The maxim is usually applied to cases of marine insurance where any loss caused by perils of the sea is within the policy though it would not have happened but for the concurrent action of some cause, as unseaworthi-ness, which is not within it.[1]

  • The maxim is also frequently applied to measure of damages where only such damages are recoverable for breach of contract as (1) arose naturally from the breach itself, or (2) might reasonably be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both contracting parties at the time of the contract as resulting from breach.[2]

Case Reference

In the case of Wing v. Morse,[3] the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine observed the following:

“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.’.”

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1] Dudgeon v. Pembroke, (1877) 2 App Cas 284

[2] Hadley v. Baxendale, (1854) 9 Ex 341

[3] Wing v. Morse, 300 A. 2d 49 (1973)