Civil fraud—dishonesty and standard of proof
Civil fraud—dishonesty and standard of proof

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Civil fraud—dishonesty and standard of proof
  • Standard of proof in civil fraud cases
  • Dishonesty in a civil context
  • Is recklessness the same as dishonesty—‘targeted suspicion’
  • Evidencing and proving dishonesty in civil claims
  • The approach to the evidence in fraud cases
  • Should the alleged fraud have been obvious?
  • Absence of witnesses
  • Can you infer dishonesty in civil fraud claims?
  • Pleading dishonesty in civil claims
  • More...

This Practice Note considers the standard of proof in civil claims based on the defendant’s alleged fraud. It considers the test for dishonesty (per Ivey v Genting) and when dishonesty (and therefore fraud) may be inferred from the facts proved before the court.

For guidance on bringing a civil claim for fraud, see Practice Notes:

  1. Starting a civil fraud claim—a practical guide

  2. Civil fraud—heads of claim

  3. Civil fraud—pleading fraud and dishonesty

  4. Civil fraud—frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Standard of proof in civil fraud cases

In civil proceedings, the standard of proof is ‘on the balance of probabilities’. It requires proof that the fact in issue more probably occurred than not (Re B). See also the decision of Jacobs J in Vald. Nielsen Holding v Baldorino as discussed in News Analysis: Court confirms settled principles on fraud and conspiracy claims (Vald. Nielsen Holding A/S and another company v Baldorino and others).

This contrasts with the burden and standard of proof in criminal proceedings where each element of the offence must be proven to the criminal standard—‘beyond reasonable doubt’, see Practice Note: Burden and standard of proof in criminal proceedings.

Dishonesty in a civil context

Dishonesty on the part of the party committing the civil fraud is not always a prerequisite; much will depend on the nature of the claim and the circumstances in which it arose. For further information, see Practice Note:

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