Causation as an Element of the Offence

6 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2016

See all articles by Ingeborg Puppe

Ingeborg Puppe

University of Bonn - Department of Law

Date Written: March 7, 2016


This is an English translation by Franz A. Wenzel of selected pages from Karl Engisch's monograph, Die Kausalität als Merkmal der strafrechtlichen Tatbestände (1931), which, referencing John Stuart Mill's seminal analysis of causation in philosophy, apparently was the first to apply Mill's insights to the law and to argue for replacing the strong necessity (sine qua non, 'but for') criterion for causation in the law with a Millian covering-law account.

Keywords: Karl Engisch, John Stuart Mill, causation, covering laws, sine qua non, but for

Suggested Citation

Puppe, Ingeborg, Causation as an Element of the Offence (March 7, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Ingeborg Puppe (Contact Author)

University of Bonn - Department of Law ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012

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