The varying standards of proof in civil and criminal trials


The courts frequently assert that there are only two standards of proof at common-law by which to judge whether a party has discharge the legal burden of proof. The first is the civil standard, which is often said to be a fixed standard of proof. It is said that a party meets the standard by persuading a court to accept the belief that party’s allegations as being at least more probable than not. The preponderance of probabilities is another way of setting a civil persuasion level.  There are several problems with this approach. One can question the court’s ability to feel subjectively satisfied that the state of affairs existed, when the court believes that the plaintiff has shown merely alter the least 5149 that such and such as taken place. One can also question the possibility of quantifying the extent to which to try of fact Bill is persuaded. And yet the traditional description of the civil standard in terms of preponderance of probabilities does not mean it meets an important principle civil cases, which is that the party should be given equal treatment. A rule which requires the party bearing legal burden to persuade only to a fraction above 50% might be taken as meaning that each side to a civil case is roughly equal chance of unfairly losing.

The second Severn of proof is a criminal standard, which is said to require the prosecution establish its case beyond reasonable doubt. By the very use of the words reasonable, it has always been clear that the criminal standard of proof is a floating standard. Our defending it is will vary according to the context of the case, and to the certain extent, the values of the tri-refract. The legislation in relation to evidence describes the standard of proof of fact-finding in the trial within the trial process but it carefully confines itself to stipulate in the standards of proof establishing the case of a party or the case of the prosecution or defendant. It says nothing as to what those cases might be, that is they give notice to determining incidence of the legal burden of proof. Loss the common law courts maintain language of preponderance of probabilities to describe the civil standard, they have in a series of cases made it clear that the standard is in fact a variable.

David Coleman is a lawyer in Sydney Australia with over 10 years experience in the legal industry. If you need legal advice or a access to a legal document click on the links contained here.