Standards Of Proof In Scots Law

1066 Words 4 Pages
here are two recognised standards of proof in Scots law. The first is beyond reasonable doubt, which is usually in criminal cases. The second is on the balance of probabilities which arises mostly in the civil context. This would suggest that the law on the standard of proof is straightforward. However ambiguity arises in the argument that there is or that there should be a third standard. Another important complication to this area of the law arises when considering civil circumstances that may result in criminal sanctions. This is something that will also be considered in detail throughout this essay, and would cause me to argue that the law in this area is not clear and straightforward.

In criminal cases the crown must prove the accused committed offence beyond reasonable doubt. In some cases there is a persuasive burden on accused, this discharged by proof on the balance of probabilities. This is the first demonstration of the crossover between the two standards that aim to be distinct and clear. This is shown in HM Advocate v Mitchell .

The matter is more meaty in the discussion of the standard that applies to civil matters. A party on whom lies persuasive burden must discharge it on balance of
…show more content…
Such terminology compounds the linguistic ambiguity over standards of proof, especially where no criminal conduct is alleged. However, these terms are better interpreted as emphasising the quality of evidence and degree of persuasion required of a pursuer in such an action. This point was made by Lord Allanbridge in Sloan v Triplett. This idea is furthered by Macphail in his Scottish Law Commission reccomendations. He recommended that in all cases in which a crime is alleged in the course of a civil action, the standard of proof should be on a balance of

Related Documents