Meaning of Burden of Proof and Standard of proof. Zambian Case Law.
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This paper discusses the meaning of “burden of proof” and “standard of proof” and will also explain the direction of the Judge given to the jurors in the given set of facts.
1. BURDEN OF PROOF
It is derived from the Latin expression onus probandi. The burden of proof or onus of proof refers to the obligation on a party to satisfy the court to a specified standard of proof that certain facts are true. The facts for this particular purpose are facts in issue.1
Burden of proof is closely associated with the Latin maxim semper necessistas probandi incumbit ei qui agit which means the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays the charge.2 The general rule is that the burden lies on a party who asserts in the affirmative.
In…show more content… If no evidence is called by the accused, the judge should satisfy himself or herself that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. This is at the stage of submissions on a case to answer.8
B. BURDEN OF PROOF IN CIVIL CASES
In civil cases, the burden of proof lies on the Plaintiff to prove the facts in issue. In the event that the Defendant has a counter-claim then the burden of proof lies on the Defendant in relation to the counter-claim.
In the case of JOSEPH CONSTANTINE STEAMSHIP LINE LIMITED v IMPERIAL SMELTING CORPORATION9, a ship was chartered to load a cargo, but on the day before she should have preceded to her berth an explosion occurred in the auxiliary boiler, which made it impossible for her to undertake the voyage. The cause of the explosion could not be definitely ascertained, and, of three possible explanations, only one would have imported negligence on the part of the ship-owners. The charterers claimed damages from the ship-owners for failure to load a cargo. At the time of the accident, the ship was not an “arrived” ship, and, therefore,