Facts in Issue
Facts in issue are also called material facts or ' facta probanda' the latin term.
The facts in issue are essential facts which parties need to prove.
In civil cases, the facts in issue comprise the cause of action.
For instance, the civil claims may include claiming for damages in term of injustice caused by defendant's negligence.
The facts in issue will focus on the questions of law or questions of fact.
In term of questions of law, it includes for instance the defendant duty of care to the claimant where the parties need to bring agreement.
The issue whether the defendant breach the duty of care is considered a question of fact.
In this case, by the rules of court, it is required for the claimant to specify the particulars of the claim of the precise respect where the negligence can be linked to the defendant.
Any formally denial of negligence by the defendant on the ground of defence, will cause the claimant to adduce evidence to prove at least one of the alleged particulars of negligence.
Based on what is admitted and denied by the defendant in the defence, the fact that the defendant's negligence caused injury to the claimant need to be proved by the claimant as a fact.
The claimant also need to prove the nature of injuries, the extent of injuries and any amount of special damages.
The defendant would need to adduce the evidence to prove the issue if the defendant alleged contributory negligence is denied by the claimant.
In criminal cases, the facts in issues are facts which constitute the offence charged in a criminal cases and also facts which the defendant must prove to establish the defence.
In civil or criminal cases, the facts in issue are considered by referring to the substantive law and the statement of the case which includes the indictment, written charges or information in the criminal proceeding.
In civil cases, the substantive law will determine the elements of the cause of action and classification of the issues into issue of law.
The statements of case will determine the type of questions of fact which are actually in dispute.
In criminal cases, the substantive law will determine the elements of the offence charged and the defence of the accused.
The indictment, written charges and information will provide allegations of fact which constitute the offence.
Previously, defendant had no obligation to admit or to deny the allegation of prosecution.
Currently, there is a statutory obligation based on s5 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 which allows the defendant to provide the defence statement in specific condition which indicates the nature of defence, postulating matters of fact where the defendant takes issue with the prosecution and reason why.
During trial, the defendant may plead guilty or not guilty of charges.
If there is a plea of not guilty, everything will be in issue and it will be the task of the prosecution to prove the whole of their case, which include the identification of the accused, the nature of the accused' act and the intention and knowledge of the accused.
The prosecution must also proved the non existence of the defence if there is a possibility of evidence sufficiency enough to raise the existence.
For instance, in a murder case, the defendant plead not guilty.
Then, the prosecution, must prove that it was the accused who killed the victim unlawfully ( actus reus) with the intention and necessary mind to do so ( mens rea).
In the case of murder, it is the malice aforethought which is the intention to kill or cause serious harm which need to be considered.
Despite, the present of evidence that the offence took place as acting lawful in self defence.
Despite, the present of evidence that the defence of lawful self defence has been disclosed.
It is the job of the prosecution to rebut the lawful defence which has been disclosed.
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