Res Ipsa Loquitor

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  • Created on: 03-02-14 19:18
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Res Ipsa Loquitor
In Civil Law the `Burden of Proof' is on the claimant. It is for the Claimant to prove
their case and the standard of proof is on the `Balance of Probability'. This means
the level of proof is required is to prove that they are more likely to be telling the
truth than the defendant is.
In a negligence case it is for the Claimant to prove duty and breach. However
there are very rare occasions when the Burden of Proof is reversed and the
Defendant is assumed to be in breach. The defendant then has to prove that they
are not in breach.
1865 Scott v St Katherine Dock ­ A customs officer was standing under the
window of a warehouse when a bag of sugar fell on him from above. The
Claimant wanted to sue the warehouse but couldn't prove breach as noone had
an idea of how the breach occurred.
The court held that the `Burden of Proof' is reversed and the Defendant must
prove they are not in breach if:
a) There is no explanation as to how the accident happened
b) The harm/injury is of a type which only occurs if there has been a lack of care
c) The accident happened in a place under the sole control of the Defendant


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