“Weighing Evidence and Drawing Inferences
Where fraud is alleged, the Privy Council in Central Bank of Ecuador v Conticorp SA  UKPC 11 recently endorsed the approach of Robert Goff LJ in The “Ocean Frost”  1 Lloyds Rep. 1 at 56-57, where he said:
“I found it essential in cases of fraud, when considering the credibility of witnesses, always to test their veracity by reference to the objective facts proved independently of their testimony, in particular by reference to the documents in the case, and also to pay particular regard to their motives and to the overall probabilities. It is frequently very difficult to tell whether a witness is telling the truth or not; and where there is a conflict of evidence such as there was in the present case, reference to the objective facts and documents, to the witness’s motives and to the overall probabilities can be a very great assistance to a judge in ascertaining the truth.””
In Daley -v- Bakiyev  EWHC 1972 (QB) Mr Justice Supperstone dealt with issues relating to the burden of proof where there very serious allegations. The fact that a central witness for the claimant did not attend court, and his evidence was adduced as hearsay, played an important part in the decision.
The claimant had been shot in 2006. He alleged that the defendant had organised and arranged the shooting.
THE BURDEN OF PROOF
The judgment contains a succinct summary of the relevant legal principles relating to the standard of proof, the burden of proof and evidence.
“Relevant Legal Principles
Standard of Proof
Lord Nicholls, in a well-known passage in his speech in InRe H and Others (Minors) (sexual abuse: standard of proof) AC 563 at 586, stated:
“Where the matters in issue are facts the standard of proof required in non-criminal proceedings is the preponderance…
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