Preston-Jones v Preston-Jones: HL 1951

There are some medical matters of which the court has judicial knowledge, such as the normal period of human gestation. At common law the presumption of legitimacy could only be rebutted by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Proof of adultery in matrimonial proceedings was to be beyond reasonable doubt. The use of the word ‘satisfied’ in the sub-section indicated only where the burden of proof lay, and said nothing about the standard of proof.


Lord MacDermott


[1951] AC 391, [1951] 1 All ER 124


Matrimonial Causes Act 1950 4(2)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina (Smeaton) v Secretary of State for Health and Others Admn 18-Apr-2002
The claimant challenged the Order as regards the prescription of the morning-after pill, asserting that the pill would cause miscarriages, and that therefore the use would be an offence under the 1861 Act.
Held: ‘SPUC’s case is that any . .
CitedIn re H and R (Minors) (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) HL 14-Dec-1995
Evidence allowed – Care Application after Abuse
Children had made allegations of serious sexual abuse against their step-father. He was acquitted at trial, but the local authority went ahead with care proceedings. The parents appealed against a finding that a likely risk to the children had still . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.223720