burden of proof

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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 ?
Although the notion of onus of proof has no part in administration proceedings, there is nevertheless a practical onus on the applicant to support her application because the Tribunal is entitled to rely on the case an applicant presents: Bushell v Repatriation Commission (1992) 175 CLR; Abebe v Commonwealth (1999) 197 CLR 510, 576.
If an employee or prospective employee complains of direct, attribute-based conduct, then the FW Act, with its straightforward causation and reverse onus of proof, is an attractive alternative to the complexity of proving discrimination under anti-discrimination law in Australia.
(53) His Honour decided that it should not, on the basis that the section 'had a substantive effect upon the rights of the parties to litigation' (54) because it reversed the onus of proof and required the representor to establish that they had reasonable grounds for making the representation.
The onus of proof here must not be on Sefton council,and the other groups expressing their quite proper concerns, to establish that there is a risk to the delicate eco-systems of our precious coastlines.
The onus of proof is on the individual making the village green application to establish on a balance of probabilities that the whole of the site had been used for lawful sports and pastimes for not less than 20 years.
The onus of proof is unveiled through the courts or an entity like the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.
The onus of proof lies with the prosecution and not the defence, it says.
"At best, the use of that language does no more than invite attention to identifying the party who bears the onus of proof. In this case, where issue was joined about the existence of a legally binding contract between the parties, there could be no doubt that it was for the [plaintiff] to demonstrate that there was such a contract.
According to Munich Re, if coverage is to be granted, "the definition of uninsurable and uninsured political risks must be sufficiently clear and adjusted to the current circumstances, and these risks must be excluded." In addition, "the insured perils must be adequately distinguished from the uninsured elements." Also, "the definition of one event must be formulated unambiguously." Not surprisingly, "provisions are to be made for cancellation with short periods of notice." Perhaps most noteworthy though is the suggestion that "the onus of proof is to be reversed in favor of the insurer" (a huge departure from one of the key advantages of an "all-risks" coverage form).
As long as firewood cutting threatens 20 bird species with extinction and has serious effects on habitat structure, nutrient cycles and biodiversity, the opposite should be assumed and the onus of proof should rest with the firewood industry.
An earlier flaw in the bill, that the onus of proof rested on the individual to show they could not have provided the keys, has now been reversed: the police will have to prove the capability.