Accordingly, the claimant usually bears the legal burden (and by necessity an evidential burden) of proving all the elements of his claim. Similarly, the defendant bears the legal (and evidential) burden of proving any defence and/or counter claim against the claimant.
The burden of proof in criminal cases: The basic rule was laid down by Viscount Sankey LC in Woolmington v DPP3, 'Throughout the web of the English criminal law one golden thread is always to be seen, that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoners guilt4'.
It would be possible to justify the rule as part of a policy to avoid embarrassing criticisms of the administration of justice by minimising wrongful convictions. These are more likely to be avoided if the burden is fixed in this way then if an accused person has to prove his innocence. It is also possible to justify the rule by appeal to principle. For example, it would be a necessary feature of the law if it were accepted that, in Dworkin's words, people have a profound right not to be convicted of crimes of which they are innocent.
Viscount Sankey said that the rule was subject to exceptions in the case ...Show more