Civil Proceedings

Section 140 re-affirms the common law position that a court must find a civil law claim proven if it is satisfied that the case has been proven on the balance of probabilities. However, it then lists points that a court must take into account when deciding whether it is satisfied as to such proof. These include, but are not limited to, the nature of the plaintiff’s claim and the defence, the gravity of the alleged breaches of law, and the nature of the factual subject matter....

 

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Criminal Proceedings

Section 141 re-affirms the common law standard for criminal cases that the prosecution must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt to succeed. It also re-affirms that where a defendant is required to prove some point or another, they need only prove such on the balance of probabilities....

 

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Civil Versus Criminal Standards of Proof

The differing standards of proof may create some interesting dynamics in the legal life cycle of the one matter. For example, a matter formerly subject to an unsuccessful prosecution may become the subject of an insurance investigation on grounds of unlawful use of the subject property as a breach of the insurance policy. The mere fact that the policy holder was acquitted in a criminal court does not mean that the same crime will not be proven on the same evidence in a civil court....

 

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[1] Judicial College of Victoria, Uniform Evidence Manual, s141 – Criminal proceedings: standard of proof. Sourced online at www.judicialcollege.vic.edu.au/eManuals/UEM/index.htm#26880.htm on 27 December 2014.

Standards of Proof

Rules of Evidence

Written by Andrew Pingree. All copyright, 2014-2016 vests in Civilaco Pty Ltd.

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