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section heading icon     proof

This page considers questions of 'proof' in Australian law, in particular standards of proof in different categories of litigation and the admissibility of particular evidence.

It covers -

In Australian courts the 'standard of proof' is the extent to which the entity (eg an individual, a private sector organisation, the state) initiating action must prove their case in order to be successful. In civil proceedings that entity is the plaintiff. In criminal proceedings the entity is the state (typically characterised as the Crown or the Prosecution.

In a civil action the standard of proof is 'on the balance of probabilities'. There is a more stringent requirement in criminal litigation (consistent with the nature of penalties), with the standard of proof being 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

subsection heading icon    statutes

The salient Australian evidence statutes are as follows -

  • Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) | here
  • Evidence Act 1971 (ACT) | here
  • Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) | here
  • Evidence Act (NT) | here
  • Evidence Act 1977 (Qld) | here
  • Evidence Act 1929 (SA) | here
  • Evidence Act 2001 (Tas) | here
  • Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) | here
  • Evidence Act 1906 (WA) | here

subsection heading icon    studies

Points of entry to literature and case law regarding Australian evidence regimes are Uniform Evidence Law (Sydney: Thomson 2006) by Stephen Odgers, Uniform Evidence Law: Text and essential cases (Leichhardt: Federation Press 2003) by Peter Bayne, the Australian Law Reform Commission 2005 Uniform Evidence Law Report, John Dyson Heydon's Cross on Evidence (Sydney: Butterworths 2004) and Expert Evidence: Law, Practice, Procedure & Advocacy (Pyrmont: Lawbook Co 2005) by Ian Freckleton & Hugh Selby.







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version of December 2008
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