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Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

4. Proof of facts without evidence  

Facts in issue and relevant facts are treated as established by the courts only insofar as they are proved by evidence. This chapter discusses three exceptions to this general rule: (i) some facts may be presumed in a party’s favour in the absence of proof or complete proof, including marriage, legitimacy, death, the regular and proper performance of public or official acts, sanity, and negligence; (ii) a fact will be treated as established where the court takes judicial notice of it either (a) without enquiry, in the case of facts that are beyond serious dispute, notorious or of common knowledge or (b) after enquiry (usually political facts, customs, professional practices, and historical and geographical facts); and (iii) a fact ceases to be in issue when a party has formally admitted it.