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presumption


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N.

A supposition that the law allows or requires to be made. Some presumptions relate to people, e.g. the presumption of innocence and of sanity (see entries below). Others concern events, e.g. the presumption of legality (omnia praesumuntur rite et solemniter esse acta: all things are presumed to have been done correctly and solemnly). Most relate to the interpretation of written documents, particularly statutes (see feature Rules and Principles of Statutory Interpretation). Almost every presumption is a rebuttable presumption, i.e. it holds good only in the absence of contrary evidence. Thus, the presumption of innocence is destroyed by positive proof of guilt. An irrebuttable presumption is one that the law does not allow to be contradicted by evidence, as, for example, the presumption that a child below the age of 10 is incapable of committing a crime (see doli capax). See also equitable presumptions.

Subjects: Law.


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