Presumption Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Presumption, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Presumption?

It is a rule of law which states that a court is allowed to assume certain facts and proofs established earlier, to be true, unless someone else comes up to contest such facts and prove it otherwise.

History and Meaning of Presumption

Presumption is a legal term that has been used for centuries. It is a principle that allows courts to come to certain conclusions in the absence of sufficient evidence to the contrary. The idea behind presumption is that it helps to make legal proceedings more efficient by allowing courts to assume certain facts are true. This principle is used in both civil and criminal cases.

The idea of presumption can be traced back to Roman law, where it was used as a tool to assist judges in reaching decisions. The concept has been adopted by many common law jurisdictions, including the United States, Canada, and England.

Examples of Presumption

  1. In a criminal trial, the presumption of innocence means that the defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  2. In a child custody case, there is a presumption that the child's best interest is served by staying with the primary caretaker, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

  3. When a person dies without a will, there is a presumption that their property will be passed on to their next of kin.

  4. In a discrimination case, there is a presumption that the employer's actions were discriminatory if the employee can show that they were treated differently based on a protected characteristic.

Legal Terms Similar to Presumption

  1. Burden of proof: The burden of proof is the responsibility of proving a fact in a legal case. The plaintiff in a civil case or the prosecution in a criminal case has the burden of proof.

  2. Inference: An inference is a logical conclusion that is drawn from the evidence presented in a case.

  3. Rebuttable presumption: A rebuttable presumption is a presumption that can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary.