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Balance of probabilities ... beyond all reasonable doubt

Discussion in 'English Only' started by FLOWER, May 20, 2009.

  1. FLOWER Senior Member

    MEXICO, DF
    Mexico, DF - spanish
    Hi!

    I am reading an article of British legal system and I am confused by the expression ' beyond all reasonable doubt". What does this mean?

    A defendant is innocent until proved guilty ' beyond all reasonable doubt'
    In civil actions, a case is proved on the 'balance of probabilities'
     
  2. FLOWER Senior Member

    MEXICO, DF
    Mexico, DF - spanish
    I am reading an article of British legal system and I am confused by the expression ' balance of probabillites ". What does this mean?

    A defendant is innocent until proved guilty ' beyond all reasonable doubt'
    In civil actions, a case is proved on the 'balance of probabilities'
     
  3. jonjonsin Junior Member

    English - American
    I am not a lawyer and these are obviously legal terms. It's a matter what it takes to convict someone. There are most likely volumes written about this but the way I understand is like this. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" would mean that the jury can take no chance that the accused might innocent. "Balance of probabilities" would mean that judge or jury believes that it is most likely the accused is guilty. I believe in the United State we call this preponderance of the evidence.
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In a criminal case, a guilty outcome has to be based on a very high probability of guilt. It doesn't have to be certainty, but it has be "beyond all reasonable doubt".

    In a civil case, the court will decide in favour of one party to the case.
    It will hear the evidence and come to a conclusion based on which side has the higher probability of being correct.

    ______________________
    Moderator note:
    Thank you for taking care to have one topic per thread.
    As is clear from these two responses, it is difficult to comment on one of these phrases without discussing the other :)
    The threads have been merged - and the title changed accordingly.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009

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