The Reasonable and the Relevant: Legal Standards of Proof

Philosophy and Public Affairs 47 (3):288-318 (2019)

Authors
Georgi Gardiner
Oxford University
Abstract
According to a common conception of legal proof, satisfying a legal burden requires establishing a claim to a numerical threshold. Beyond reasonable doubt, for example, is often glossed as 90% or 95% likelihood given the evidence. Preponderance of evidence is interpreted as meaning at least 50% likelihood given the evidence. In light of problems with the common conception, I propose a new ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for legal standards of proof. Relevant alternative accounts of knowledge state that a person knows a proposition when their evidence rules out all relevant error possibilities. I adapt this framework to model three legal standards of proof—the preponderance of evidence, clear and convincing evidence, and beyond reasonable doubt standards. I describe virtues of this framework. I argue that, by eschewing numerical thresholds, the relevant alternatives framework avoids problems inherent to rival models. I conclude by articulating aspects of legal normativity and practice illuminated by the relevant alternatives framework.
Keywords legal standards of proof  relevant alternatives theory  beyond reasonable doubt  preponderance of evidence  proof paradox  epistemic possibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/papa.12149
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rape and the Reasonable Man.C. D. & K. Haely - 1999 - Law and Philosophy 18 (2):113-139.
Rape and the Reasonable Man.Donald C. Hubin & Karen Haely - 1999 - Law and Philosophy 18 (2):113-139.
Plausibility and Probability in Juridical Proof.Marcello Di Bello - forthcoming - International Journal of Evidence and Proof.
Reasonable Women in the Law.Susan Dimock - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (2):153-175.
The Norm of Belief.John Gibbons - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
In Defence of Reasonable Doubt.Georgi Gardiner - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2):221-241.
Rethinking Criminal Law. [REVIEW]Andrew Botterell - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 22:93-112.
How People Judge What Is Reasonable.Kevin P. Tobia - 2018 - Alabama Law Review 70 (2):293-359.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-11-07

Total views
89 ( #92,788 of 2,271,536 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
89 ( #6,499 of 2,271,536 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature