No such thing as ‘absolute confidence’ in courts

In calling for such an impossible standard of certainty in cervical screening, the judiciary are asking something of doctors that members of the legal profession wouldn’t dream of achieving in the performance of their duties

16th June, 2019

Judges always sound confident in their judgments. I imagine you don’t get to be a judge unless you’re a very confident person.

But judgments in civil law are like many medical decisions: they are based on the balance of probabilities. As such, they can be wrong. Having absolute confidence in anything is an ideal. It doesn’t appear on any consent forms for medical treatments or tests. Doctors don’t use words like...

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