There is the basic legal maxim in Latin which says, “Allegata et probanda” which translated in English means “he who alleges must prove”.
The said statement assumes more importance particularly in the trial of any case in court, whether the case is civil case, criminal case or any other type of proceedings in court such as special proceedings or special civil action or other type of hearing.
It is but proper that the complainant has this burden or duty to prove all of his or her allegation in the complaint since the plaintiff is the one who initiate or begins the case in court.
In other words since the complainant is the one who invoke the aid of the court it is the duty of the plaintiff to come forward and to present all of the available evidence, whether this kind of evidence is thru the testimony of the witnesses in court or through some documents or object as the case maybe.
Secondly, the party who’s going to lose in the case is always the plaintiff since the case will for sure will be dismissed in the event of lack of proof or due to insufficiency of evidence on the plaintiff’s part.
The same is true with regards to criminal cases where the burden of proof is always on the part of the prosecution since it is always the duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt because the accused is always presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.
The rule on burden of proof is a very practical and common sense way of knowing who has the duty or obligation between the parties to any given case.
It must be noted that the rule with regards to the burden of proof differs between a civil cases and a criminal cases.
In civil cases, the burden of proof is always on the part of the plaintiff and the quantum of proof required is preponderance of evidence. While with regards to criminal cases the kind of proof required is proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not necessarily mean a 100% absolute certainty that a given accused has committed the crime or crimes. What is needed is simply moral certainty.
However in administrative cases or proceedings the burden of proof is also on the part of the complainant. However the quantum of evidence required in any administrative cases is merely substantial evidence.
These basic concept of the burden of proof as part of procedural or remedial law comes in handy during the course of the trial and more importantly during the drafting of any decision with regards to the outcome of the case.
For in the final analysis, the ability to discharge this burden of proof in any given case, whether civil case or criminal case will determine either the victory or defeat of any party to the case.
That’s maybe the reason why the symbol of justice is that of the scale: to weight both the facts and the law and where the tip of the scale of justice lies.