At American law, and I believe it's the same for Canada, there are three standards of evidence. The classic "beyond a reasonable doubt" of guilt in criminal cases, the "preponderance of the evidence" rule in civil cases, and sometimes an enhanced preponderance standard called "clear and convincing evidence."I knew that, but never really understood the concept.
I express them numerically as 95% sure, 51% sure, and 75% sure.
There's good reason for it. In criminal cases, the standard exists to limit the power of the state to frame up and lock up anybody it damn well feels like. In civil cases, the parties are on a relatively equal footing, and both have the opportunity to tell their stories. Most civil cases give an opportunity for the defendant to counter-claim, so the jury sorts out who's right and who's wrong.
That's the theory, anyhow.