balance of probabilities

balance of probabilities
the standard of proof in civil cases, demanding that the case that is the more probable should succeed. This is the kind of decision represented by the scales of justice. The court weighs up the evidence and decides which version is most probably true. Thus, the actual truth may never be known. All that is done in the Anglo-American system is to choose which of the combatants has presented the most probable version. If both seem equally balanced, then the person pursuing the case loses on the basis of the maxim melior est conditio defendentis, 'better is the position of the defender'. See beyond a reasonable doubt.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • balance of probabilities — UK US noun [singular] UK ► LAW a standard that is used to help make decisions in legal cases that do not involve a crime: »In English law the person claiming injury will not have to prove absolutely that the product he is using has caused damage… …   Financial and business terms

  • balance of probabilities — noun A legal standard, applied in many jurisdictions for deciding the outcome of civil disputes, which requires that a dispute be decided in favor of the party whose claims are more likely to be true. Syn: preponderance of the evidence …   Wiktionary

  • balance of probabilities — comparison between the likelihood of truthfulness of different versions of a story …   English contemporary dictionary

  • proof by the balance of probabilities — convincing with a reasonableness of over 50% in the veracity of a legal claim (in a civil trial) …   English contemporary dictionary

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