The Mechanics of Proof
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The purpose of the trial is to see whether disputed issues of fact can be resolved to the satisfaction of the court by the adduction of admissible evidence. The law of evidence sets out the principles and rules which determine whether evidence is admissible and, if so, whether it ought to be admitted, but it is also concerned with the process of proof itself. For a trial to function effectively it is necessary to understand which party is obliged to prove any disputed issue of fact, what is meant by ‘proof’ in this context, what happens when there is no evidence in support of or against a particular factual proposition, and the extent to which the tribunal of fact can rely on its own knowledge.
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