F.H v. McDougall

In Due Diligence, Fish Cases, Miscellaneous, Offences on (Updated )

This is pronouncement by the Supreme Court of Canada on the civil burden of proof "on a balance of probabilities". Although this is not a fisheries case, since this is the burden of proof by which an accused fisher must establish a due diligence defence, it is an important decision for fisheries prosecutions. In this case the court rejected an approach requiring a shifting burden depending on the gravity of the offence and proclaimed that "there is only one standard of proof and that is proof on a balance of probabilities. In all civil cases, the trial judge must scrutinize the relevant evidence with care to determine whether it is more likely than not that an alleged event occurred." (para. 49).