Beyond all reasonable doubt

The jury must be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty before they can reach such a verdict.

The trial judge will mention the basis upon which the jury should decide the case. This applies only to criminal cases.  

The responsibility for making out the case against the defendant is upon the prosecution.  The modern equivalent is that they must be ‘sure’ that the accused did what he or she is accused of. 

If a jury is used in civil cases their job is made slightly easier in that the burden of proof is based upon ‘the balance of probabilities’.  In other words is it 'likely' that the evidence can be relied upon. This is to do with the fact that the consequences for the losing party, whilst they may be dire, are not so serious as a criminal conviction which carries the stigma that goes with it and the risk of a custodial sentence.

Vicky Pryce jury asks: Can you define reasonable doubt?

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