October 15 2017 – “‘Presumption of innocence’ – innocent until proven guilty – is a high standard of justice. ‘On the balance of probabilities’ – guessing – is a low standard of justice. Bishop Bell was judged by those with a low standard of justice. This led to a miscarriage of justice. Restoration of justice is therefore required by those with a high standard of justice” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

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“Presumption of innocence” – innocent until proven guilty – is a high standard of justice. “On the balance of probabilities” – guessing – is a low standard of justice. Bishop Bell was judged by those with a low standard of justice. This led to a miscarriage of justice. Restoration of justice is therefore required by those with a high standard of justice” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society


What does proof on a balance of probabilities mean?

The civil standard of proof is proof on a balance of probabilities. The criminal standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This article deals with civil standards of proof. Saying something is proven on a balance of probabilities means that it is more likely than not to have occurred. It means that it is probable, i.e., the probability that some event happens is more than 50%. So mathematically proof on a balance of probabilities is 50.1% likelihood of something having occurred.
A lawyer I once knew explained it this way. You see the scales of justice. They are evenly balanced. Both sides are the same height. But if one side has the weight of a feather added to it, causing it to go down and the other side to go up. Now that side with the weight of a feather has won. Proof greater than that is not required. Simply a balancing of both sides seeing which side has the stronger proof.
Quotes from cases where judges have commented on the civil standard of proof follow:
McIver v. Power, [1998] P.E.I.J. No. 4, Prince Edward Island Supreme Court – Trial Division, MacDonald C.J.T.D.,
5 In any civil case the plaintiff must prove their case on a balance of probabilities if they are to succeed. This means that the plaintiff must prove that his facts tip the scale in his favor even if it is only a 51% probability that he is correct.
F.H. v. McDougall, [2008] S.C.J. No. 54:
44 Put another way, it would seem incongruous for a judge to conclude that it was more likely than not that
an event occurred, but not sufficiently likely to some unspecified standard and therefore that it did not occur.
As Lord Hoffman explained in In re B at para. 2:
If a legal rule requires a fact to be proved (a “fact in issue”), a judge or jury must
decide whether or not it happened. There is no room for a finding that it might have
happened. The law operates a binary system in which the only values are zero and one.
The fact either happened or it did not. If the tribunal is left in doubt, the doubt is resolved
by a rule that one party or the other carries the burden of proof. If the party who bears
the burden of proof fails to discharge it, a value of zero is returned and the fact is treated
as not having happened. If he does discharge it, a value of one is returned and the fact
is treated as having happened.
In my view, the only practical way in which to reach a factual conclusion in a civil case is to decide whether it
is more likely than not that the event occurred.
[49] In the result, I would reaffirm that in civil cases there is only one standard of proof and that is proof on a balance of probabilities.
Snell v. Farrell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311 is a medical malpractice case and the issue was whether the plaintiff required a firm medical opinion to establish a causal link between her surgical outcome and the defendant doctor’s actions. Sopinka J., speaking for the Supreme Court of Canada, commented on the difference between medical certainty and legal certainty. He commented that “near certainty” is the medical standard of causation while the legal standard requires only a 51% probability. He concluded that a firm medical opinion is not required to establish causation in law. Rather, causation is a question to be determined by weighing all of the evidence in order to determine whether a causal link has been established on a balance of probabilities.
Veerasingam v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 241 — Federal Court of Canada
. . .paras 29 that the term “balance of probabilities” was equivalent to “more likely than not”, but with two distinct steps involved as to the burden of proof and legal test. […] to be persuasive evidence of that risk “on a balance of probabilities” or to show that it was “more likely than not.” The Board uses this terminology throughout its decision. […] As demonstrated, the Board was mindful of its role in considering the evidence of “risk” to the Applicant on a balance of probabilities. . .
Roseanne Conley v. Keel Construction, 2005 NBQB 263
[2] On the question of liability the onus of proof must be met by the claimant, Mrs. Conley and the standard of proof is that of a balance of probabilities, i.e. is it more likely than not that the incident occurred in the manner she alleges.
Bhullar v. I.C.B.C., 2009 BCPC 44
But the burden of proof here is not like a criminal charge, beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is on the balance of probabilities, more likely than not. . . While I have an expert opinion, which I accept, that this car was either driven with a key or towed, for the reasons I have already gone into, I do not find this vehicle was towed, which means the likelihood is, more likely than not, balance of probabilities proven the vehicle was driven with a key. The only people that had keys were the claimants. Nobody else. If that is true, which seems to be true on the facts, then again more likely than not, Mr. Bhullar was involved in the theft and burning of the vehicle.
Mitcham v. Canada, 2003 FCA 340 Federal Court of Appeal
. . . While Mr. Mitcham is now diagnosed as having fibromyalgia symptoms, the Board, weighing the evidence on a balance probabilities, held that he was more likely than not capable of regularly . . .
R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103 — 1986-02-28 Supreme Court of Canada
. . . in such a case and it is sufficient if the court considers that upon the evidence before it it is more likely than not that the fact does not exist. . . . The test is the same as that applied in civil proceedings: the balance of probabilities. . .
Canada (Minister of National Revenue) c. Fabrication GMCA Inc., 2002 FCT 1260 Federal Court of Canada
. . . (3) The evidence must show, on a balance of probability, that it is more likely than not that collection would be jeopardized by delay. . . Lamer J. for her to conclude that on a balance of probabilities it was more likely than not that giving the respondent further time could compromise the collection in question. . .
R. v. Turner, 2004 BCSC 1778, Supreme Court of British Columbia
. . . [14] The standard of proof in civil trials is proof on a balance of probabilities; namely, proof that something is probable or more likely than not. . . . . In criminal trials, such as this trial, the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is higher than the civil standard of proof on a balance of probabilities. . .
So you can see the test of proof in a civil case is whether it is more likely than not, that something occurred. No more, no less.

Allan Bayda
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“Church Protected Paedophile Bishop” – The Argus – Front Page – June 23 2017



Church helped to cover up sexual abuse

THE Church of England “colluded” with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one its bishops rather than help his victims, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The Most Rev Justin Welby’s statement came as the Church published Abuse Of Faith, an independent review of how it handled the case of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes who was jailed for 32 months at the Old Bailey in 2015 after pleading guilty to a string of historical offences, including two counts of indecent assault.

The review, chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, found that “Ball’s conduct has caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men”.

It stated: “Peter Ball betrayed his Church and abused individual followers of that Church.

“The Church at its most senior levels and over many years supported him unwisely and displayed little care for his victims.

“Much of what we have described took place in different times and should be viewed from that perspective.

“But such perverse and sustained abuse by a senior figure in the Church and the Church’s failure to safeguard so many boys and young men still casts a long shadow.”

During his time as bishop, Ball hand-picked 18 vulnerable victims to commit acts of “debasement” in the name of religion, such as praying naked at the altar and encouraging them to submit to beatings, his trial heard.

The Archbishop described the report as “harrowing reading”, adding: “The Church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward.

“This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour and, although Dame Moira notes that most of the events took place many years ago, and does not think that the Church now would conduct itself in the ways described, we can never be complacent; we must learn lessons.”

He restated his “unreserved apology” to the victims who had been brave enough to come forward, adding: “There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systematic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over the decades.”

There is criticism in the review of Lord Carey, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, and other senior figures in the Church, saying the Church was “most interested in protecting itself”.

The review states that Lambeth Palace’s actions, especially in failing to pass on six letters of allegations to the police, while giving them one which was of “least concern”… “must give rise to a perception of deliberate concealment”.

The review points out that the Church’s management of those seven letters, containing allegations against Ball, was perhaps “its greatest failure in these events”.

The NSPCC spoke of its disgust at the findings.

A spokesperson said: “It is utterly disgraceful to discover that collusion at the heart of the Church of England led to the abuse of so many young men and boys. Abuse can happen in any institution or walk of life and we must ensure it can never be covered up by the powerful. Abuse in our most revered institutions must be exposed and investigated, offenders brought to justice, and victims given confidence to come forward.”


THE archbishop of Canterbury has asked his predecessor George Carey to step down as an honorary assistant bishop.

Lord Carey was singled out for criticism in yesterday’s report, with it stating he was more concerned with protecting the church rather than the victims.

In particular, it refers to Lambeth Palace’s failure to pass on six letters of allegations to the police.

Instead it forwarded one letter which was described as being of “least concern”.

The report stated this “must give rise to a perception of deliberate concealment”. It added that management of the seven letters was perhaps the church’s “greatest failure”.

It stated: “The letters came from a range of families and individuals quite independently of each other. They raised concerns which were all either indirectly or precisely suggestive of sexual impropriety, or worse, by Ball.

“These were not people who were at war with the Church or had any axe to grind. In fact, some of the correspondents go to great lengths to try to avoid rancour and find a constructive way forward.”

The report found that Lord Carey was significantly involved in the way the Church treated victim Neil Todd in 1992/1993. Despite years of abuse in Sussex, Ball was able to leave the diocese in 1992 to take up his post as Bishop of Gloucester.

A year later, the then 16-year-old trainee monk Neil Todd prompted a police investigation which led to Ball’s resignation from the clergy. Ball escaped with a police caution in 1993 for an act of gross indecency against Mr Todd who took his own life in 2012.

Lord Carey described the paedophile bishop as “basically innocent” and said he had a “very high” regard for him in a September 1993 letter to Ball’s brother Michael.

The review, which said Lord Carey had played a leading role in enabling Ball to return to ministry, described this comment as “alarming”. It added: “Ball was basically guilty and had admitted that. Lord Carey was also aware that the Church had received further allegations of potentially criminal actions by Ball.”

Current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the review made for harrowing reading.

Steven Croft, the bishop of Oxford, said Mr Welby had written to Lord Carey asking him to “carefully consider his position”. Mr Croft and Lord Carey will meet “in the coming days for that conversation. In the meantime he has voluntarily agreed to step back from public ministry”.

The Guardian

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