Burden of proof

The burden of proof is an important legal term. Understanding the burden of proof definition is fundamental if you bring a case against anyone you would like to prove guilty of some action - or inaction in certain situations. Here, we identify what is the burden of proof and explore the idea of the burden of proof fallacy.

What is burden of proof?

Burden of proof, simply put, is when it falls to the prosecuting party to prove its case by providing a sufficient amount of evidence to support its claims or allegations. In criminal cases, prosecuting legal teams have the burden to prove their claims beyond a reasonable doubt. Meaning that there is no chance that anything but what they are claiming to be the truth. 

A burden of proof fallacy is when a person tries to eschew their need to provide proof. They can do so by denying an event, by pretending they have already offered their burden of proof, or by saying it is someone else’s duty to provide the burden of proof. In all of these cases, at the crux of the burden of proof fallacy is the fact that an individual totally ignores the need to provide a burden of proof for any claim. 

How does the burden of proof work?

The burden of proof works differently in different cases. In practice, this means that the burden of proof has to achieve different levels to help support the legal claim. The three usual standards of proof are: 

  • proof beyond a reasonable doubt, 
  • clear and convincing evidence, 
  • and, finally, preponderance of the evidence. 

Preponderance of the evidence is providing the burden of proof strong enough to convince courts that there is a more than probable chance that the evidence proves the claim. 

Advantages of the burden of proof

The advantage of the burden of proof is that it requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant is guilty. It is contingent on the plaintiff to bring enough evidence to the court to prove that what they are claiming is indeed the truth. It is not contingent on the defendant to prove they are innocent. The idea of innocent until proven guilty is an essential element in any democratic legal system. It allows for much fairer trials, and it helps protect the integrity of any justice system. Ultimately it also means that human dignity can be upheld as they are never guilty until proven that they actually are. 

As a result, the idea of the burden of truth is key to preserving the concept of innocent until proven guilty which is such an important presumption in any legal proceedings. Putting the onus on the plaintiffs of prosecutors should logically diminish the number of false convictions of guilt. 

Contractbook and burden of proof

What’s excellent about Contractbook and the burden of proof is that if you are the plaintiff, finding evidence within contracts created with our software and saved within the cloud is far more accessible and efficient. Our data-driven contracts can easily pull the required information out of contracts, adding to the amount of proof that a plaintiff may already have collected. 

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