Title: From rational to more rational standards of proof

Authors: Mirko Pečarič; Tatjana Kozjek

Addresses: Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana, Gosarjeva ulica 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ' Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana, Gosarjeva ulica 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: Standards of proof and their application in law have been studied for centuries, but the legal profession still uses them primarily in relation to such indeterminate legal notions as common sense and intuition, while failing to develop new methods for a more objective assessment of these standards. This paper strives to cast a new light upon these standards by exploiting two methods developed in psychology and mathematics. Through the visual presentation of these two methods it becomes clear that every decision has four possible outcomes according to different cues and weights that could change in the face of new evidence. There is a difference between the intuitive use of standards of proof and their use in conjunction with the application of some developed mathematical or statistical methods. This gap could be filled with Bayes theorem that describes the probability of an event, based on conditions that might be (or might not be) related to that event.

Keywords: standards of proof; SoP; commonsense; intuition; lens model; Bayes theorem; psychology; mathematics; law.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2016.079729

International Journal of Public Policy, 2016 Vol.12 No.3/4/5/6, pp.115 - 129

Received: 09 Nov 2015
Accepted: 28 Jan 2016

Published online: 07 Oct 2016 *

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