Saturday, May 17, 2008

Word of the Week: Equipoise

Photo: Mario, Creative Commons,

If the evidence pertinent to a disputed fact is equally balanced or does not produce a rational belief of its existence, the party holding the affirmative as to such fact must fail (People v. OrdoƱa).


When there is nothing in the evidence which shall incline it to one side or the other, the court will find for the defendant(Municipality of Candijay v. CA)


Under this rule, where the evidence on an issue of fact is in equipoise or there is doubt on which side the evidence preponderates, the party having the burden of proof loses. The equipoise rule finds application if the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, for then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty, and does not suffice to produce a conviction. Briefly stated, the needed quantum of proof to convict the accused of the crime charged is found lacking. And in this case, the petitioner must be declared innocent and set free (Maria Tin v. People).

Note: The equipoise rule is also known as the equiponderance of evidence rule.

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