The Standard of Proof in Civil/Employment Cases Versus Criminal Prosecutions

The Standard of Proof in Civil/Employment Cases Versus Criminal Prosecutions


in today’s video or what to explain a
critical feature which you need to understand and that is the standard of
proof required in an employment situation civil case and in a criminal
prosecution there’s a critical difference and it actually comes up
fairly frequently in the employment context where an employee may have a
view about something been proven or not proven in the context of the employment
relationship and the standard of proof is a vital vital thing to understand so
that’s what I’m going to have a look at in this video in law there’s two
standards of proof one is the criminal standard and the criminal standard is
beyond a reasonable doubt so in order for a prosecutor to bring home a
conviction a criminal conviction he or she must prove all the elements of the
crime have been committed beyond the reasonable doubt
this happens in the district courts art record High Court Central Criminal Court
wherever if it’s a criminal case and there will be a jury involved if it’s a
murder or a serious crime so jury will be involved with rape
murder manslaughter that type of crime but they must be convinced beyond a
reasonable doubt that is the standard however that is not the standard when it
comes to a civil case or an employment case the standard of proof in a civil
case or an employment case is on the balance of probability so inevitably in
the workplace or in a dispute that ends up with the WRC or in a disciplinary
hearing you’re going to have probably two or three different versions of
events let’s just say for a minute though that you’ve two versions of
events you have the employers version and you have the employees version there
will be a conflict there will be different stories different narratives
the standard of proof however is on the balance of probability therefore after
WRC or in the labour court or in court in a civil case the judge or the
adjudicator will have to decide the case basis of the balance of probability if
there’s a conflict of evidence let me give you an example say an employee a
young lady has been guilty of misconduct in the workplace that is she’s been
guilty in a retail environment of for example theft of goods or money in the
or from the employer this employee then is subject to the disciplinary procedure
and investigation disappear procedure in the normal way and ultimately is
dismissed for gross misconduct that is theft the employer then goes along to
the car D because there’s quite a bit of stock involved and makes a complaint the
guardian Vesta gate the case and they prepare a file for the DPP the DPP that
is the Director of Public Prosecutions then goes along looks at the file and
decides whether to prosecute or not the DPP however has to be mindful of public
resources taxpayers resources and the DPP is not going to pursue a case that
has no prospect of success so it’s gonna weigh up the evidence and he’s going to
see if beyond a reasonable doubt he can prove the commission of the offense if
he feels he can’t prove the offense in other words if the evidence is not
strong enough the case won’t go ahead and live in no prosecution however that
does not mean that the employee did not take the stock or was not guilty of the
misconduct in the workplace it simply means that the DPP feels that there
isn’t enough evidence to prosecute on a criminal charge and the criminal charge
remember must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt
so let’s flashback or move sideways and to say the WRC the WRC the employee the
lady in question has brought a claim for for example unfair dismissal or
discrimination or something in that nature and there’s going to be a
conflict of evidence in the WRC hearing the employee is going to say I did not
take the stock I did not take the money and not just
misconduct and there’s no evidence the employer is going to say yes you did
etcetera etcetera and that’s why we fired you the adjudicator Dan has to
decide the case on the balance of probability in other words what was the
most likely narrative what’s the most credible series of events which version
of events the employers or the employees is most likely to have occurred and on
that basis the adjudicator will decide the case on the balance of probability
not beyond a reasonable doubt on the balance of probability so if the
adjudicator finds for example that on the balance of probability the employee
in question didn’t if I take the money and take the goods that’s it’s a fair
dismissal employee loses the case the employer wins the chase and that’s it
it’s vitally important though that you understand that the very fact that the
employee can go along to the WRC would acclaim for unfair dismissal on the
basis that the DPP decided not the prosecutor that is not enough to win a
claim at the WRC for for example unfairly censor because of the
difference in the standard of proof required the standard remember in a
criminal prosecution is beyond a reasonable doubt the standard in a civil
case or in an employment case is on the balance of probability you need to be
aware of that and obviously it’s useful for an employer as well to understand
what is the standard of proof in an employment dispute in an employment row
it’s on the balance of probability whose version of events is most likely or more
likely more reasonable and that is the basis on which the adjudicator or the
WRC or the labor court will decide an employment hearing I hope you have found
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