Presumption of innocence  

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The presumption of innocence is the legal principle that one is considered "innocent until proven guilty".

In many countries, the presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is an international human right under the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11. Under the presumption of innocence, the legal burden of proof is thus on the prosecution, which must present compelling evidence to the trier of fact (a judge or a jury). The prosecution must in most cases prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt remains, the accused must be acquitted.

Under many civil law systems, including the English common law, in criminal proceedings the accused is presumed innocent unless the prosecution presents a high level of evidence as described above. In civil proceedings (like breach of contract) the defendant is initially presumed correct unless the plaintiff presents a moderate level of evidence and thus switches the burden of proof to the defendant.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Presumption of innocence" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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