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3.7.3 – Charge: Reverse Onus

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When to Use This Charge

This charge can be given if there is a matter which the accused is required to prove on the balance of probabilities.

The requirements for this charge were not modified by the commencement of the Evidence Act 2008.

In this case, there is one exception to the general rule that the prosecution must prove the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The law says that in relation to the offence of [insert relevant offence], it is for the accused to prove [insert relevant matter].

I will explain this requirement in more detail shortly. For now, however, I want to emphasise that where it is for the accused to prove a matter, it is not necessary for him/her to do this to the same extent as the prosecution. That is, s/he does not need to prove matters "beyond reasonable doubt".

Instead, the accused only needs to establish matters on what is called the "balance of probabilities". That is, such matters only need to be shown to be more likely than not.

 

Last updated: 1 December 2009

See Also

3.7 - Review of the Onus and Standard of Proof

3.7.1 – Charge: Conventional Directions

3.7.2 - Charge: Expanded Direction

3.7.4 - Charge: Liberato Direction