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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

Ms. Hughes, the claimant, is bringing a claim against Mr. Green, the defendant, seeking damages for breach of contract. Ms. Hughes alleges that the parties agreed to an oral amendment to the contract. Mr. Green denies that any such agreement was made. The only evidence on this issue, which will determine the outcome of the claim, is the conflicting oral evidence of Ms. Hughes and Mr. Green. 


Which of the following best describes the burden of proof, if any, which the court will apply in deciding the issue?

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In civil cases, the standard burden of proof is "on the balance of probabilities." This means that the claimant, Ms. Hughes, must prove that it is more likely than not that the oral amendment to the contract occurred. The burden does not shift to the defendant, Mr. Green, to disprove the allegation. Instead, the claimant must provide sufficient evidence to convince the court that her version of events is more probable. The standard of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, where the burden is "beyond reasonable doubt." 


Key Point: In civil litigation, the burden of proof lies with the claimant, who must establish their case on the balance of probabilities. This standard requires the claimant to show that their assertions are more likely true than not, as opposed to the higher standard of proof required in criminal cases.

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