Evidential Burden Law and Legal Definition

Evidential burden means the obligation to show that there is sufficient evidence to properly raise an issue at trial and to show the existence or non-existence of a fact in issue. Failure to satisfy the evidential burden shows that an issue cannot be raised at a court of law. Although evidential burden usually relates to matters of defense raised by the accused, it can lie on either party to an issue. In cases involving discriminatory treatment by an employer against an employee, the law engages an evidential burden shifting mechanism between the parties. The first step requires that the employee make a prima facie case of discrimination. The prima facie proof required will vary from case to case based on differing factual situations. Usually, procedural and evidential burdens are placed upon those seeking to exercise a privilege that may not be placed upon those charged with crime, or even upon those defending property rights.