In criminal law, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is called the standard of proof.

This is contrasted with the standard of proof in civil cases, in which the claimant must prove their case ‘on the balance of probabilities’ (in other words, it needs to be more likely than not that the defendant is liable).

The standard of proof in criminal cases is deliberately high as the sanctions are so serious, such as the possibility of imprisonment.

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