Mindy Chen-Wishart. Contract Law (2018 6 edn). p 349.

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  1. See the green underline. I feel as if 'legal' isn't the most apposite diction here. Am I correct that the author doesn't intend to say 'unlawful'?

  2. Is there less ambiguous term? Like juridical?

1 Answer 1


It means that reversing the onus of proof is not legal.

The plaintiff has the burden of proof and transferring that to the defendant is not legal, that is, the defendant is presumed to be not liable unless the plaintiff proves that they are. The passage is making it clear that this is not what is happening.

What is happening here is that if the plaintiff proves A and B then the court can presume that they have proven C. To rebut this evidential presumption the defendant needs to provide evidence that even though A and B are true, C isn't. A good defense will also attack A and B, if possible. The amount of evidence they will need to overcome the inference depends on the strength of the inference but the overall onus of proof still lies with the plaintiff.

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