burden of proof

(redirected from Onus of proof)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to Onus of proof: Standard of proof, Air of reality

Burden of Proof

The obligations one party must meet to prove a fact in court. The party holding the burden of proof in a case must back each of his/her assertions with evidence for them to be legally acceptable. In a criminal case, the burden of proof rests with the prosecutor; in a civil case, it resides with the plaintiff. See also: Beyond a reasonable doubt, Preponderance of evidence.

burden of proof

In court, the responsibility to come forward with credible evidence that a thing happened or did not happen.Normally,the party who complains about a wrongdoing has the burden of proof. In some circumstances, primarily under federal laws related to discrimination, the aggrieved party need only make an allegation of wrongful behavior and the defendant has the burden of proof that his or her behavior was reasonable under the circumstances.The burden of proof may be set at different levels for various types of litigation. For example:

• When contesting a property tax valuation, the owner must generally prove that the assessment was manifestly excessive, clearly erroneous, or confiscatory. This burden of proof is very high, much more than required to show the assessment was simply inaccurate.

• Housing discrimination cases involve a three-step process that moves the burden of proof back and forth. Under what is called the McDonnell Douglas test, plaintiffs have the burden of showing they are a member of a protected minority; they applied for and were qualified to rent or purchase property; and they were rejected and the housing or rental opportunity remained available afterward. That creates a presumption of discrimination, which shifts the burden to the defendants to prove they had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for their actions. If successful, the burden shifts back to the plaintiffs to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning, “more likely than not”) that the offered reason was a pretext and there really was a discriminatory purpose.

References in periodicals archive ?
Under the WR Act the reverse onus of proof was contained in section 298V.
Despite the Perks case Mr Saunders said he did not think the law should be changed to shift the onus of proof on to the suspect.
This change effectively removes the 'reverse onus of proof that ensured that an employer who was being prosecuted had to show why it had not been negligent or failed to comply with the legislation.
Nevertheless, given vested interests and the difficulty of introducing legal reform, the fallback position taken in this article is that if the defence of provocation is to be retained then it is necessary to make the defence much more difficult to run by reversing the onus of proof and by narrowing the scope of the defence.
The role of the prosecuting agency is crucial because, unlike in other offences against women such as dowry deaths, the onus of proof is on it.
She needed to prove that her defamatory allegations were substantially true, since both God's and Man's laws state that the onus of proof is on the accuser.
To borrow another legal term, the onus of proof is very firmly on those who propose the alteration.
He also claims the onus of proof that the mast is safe must rest with Vodafone.
Under new rules, the onus of proof lies on the shooter to justify why they own a firearm, whereas previously, it was up to the police to decide whether or not to issue a certificate for a shotgun.
These include the downgrading of risk management, the loss of third-party right to prosecute OHS breaches and the loss of reverse onus of proof.