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Bring the burden of proof in Civil Cases in line with that required in Criminal Cases

Comment 10th July 2010

At the moment, the burden of proof required in a civil case is "on the balance of probabilities" whereas in a criminal case has to be proven "beyond all reasonable doubt". I propose that we increase the burden of proof required in a civil case or claim to the same as that required in a criminal case, ie. a civil case should also have to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt, in order for a claim to suceed.

Why does this matter?

Compensation culture and the fear of litigation is doing untold damage to business and community activities. Increasing the burden of proof in this way would make it harder for civil claims to succeed, and reduce the profitability of, and hence the number of, spurious claims.

A civil claim against an individual or organisation can be just as devastating as a criminal case, it can lead to bankruptcy, loss of homes, marriages, etc. and even if the case is covered by insurance, a claim can make it impossible for an organisation to get insurance again at any sensible price, leading the the demise of the organisation – the same effects as a criminal conviction. Should therefore a lower burden of proof apply to a civil claim?

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