Jayasena v The Queen: PC 1 Dec 2006

J appealed from his conviction of murder. He admitted the act but said that it was in self defence. He said that the Judge had misdirected the jury as to the burden of evidence on the issue of self defence.
Held: Lord Devlin said: ‘Their Lordships do not understand what is meant by the phrase ‘evidential burden of proof’. They understand, of course, that in trial by jury a party may be required to adduce some evidence in support of his case, whether on the general issue or on a particular issue, before that issue is left to the jury. How much evidence has to be adduced depends upon the nature of the requirement. It may be such evidence as, if believed and left uncontradicted and unexplained, could be accepted by the jury as proof. It is doubtless permissible to describe the requirement as a burden, and it may be convenient to call it an evidential burden. But it is confusing to call it a burden of proof. Further, it is misleading to call it a burden of proof, whether described as legal or evidential or by any other adjective, when it can be discharged by the production of evidence that falls short of proof. The essence of the appellant’s case is that he has not got to provide any sort of proof that he was acting in private defence. So it is a misnomer to call whatever it is that he has to provide a burden of proof . .’

Lord Devlin
[1970] AC 618, [1969] UKPC 22, [1970] 1 All ER 219, [1970] 2 WLR 448
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Daniel CACD 22-Mar-2002
The defendant appealed a conviction for hiding assets from her receiver following her bankruptcy. He said that recent case law suggested that the burden of establishing the defence under section 352 was evidential only.
Held: The conviction . .
CitedLynch v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 8-Nov-2001
The defendant challenged a conviction for having a locked bladed article in his possession in a public place, on the basis that it placed on him a burden of proof contrary to the convention.
Held: Salabiaku permits a reverse onus but requires . .
CitedSheldrake v Director of Public Prosecutions; Attorney General’s Reference No 4 of 2002 HL 14-Oct-2004
Appeals were brought complaining as to the apparent reversal of the burden of proof in road traffic cases and in cases under the Terrorism Acts. Was a legal or an evidential burden placed on a defendant?
Held: Lord Bingham of Cornhill said: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.184321