Shifting the standard

Shifting the standard

01 July 2021

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the much-anticipated appeal of R (on the application of Maughan) Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire, and held (by a majority) that the civil standard of proof applies to all conclusions at inquests, including conclusions of suicide and unlawful killing.

This decision represents a significant departure from the long-established approach to a conclusion (formerly a ‘verdict’) of unlawful killing, which had been widely understood to require proof to the criminal standard, whilst affirming the decisions of the Divisional Court (in 2018) and Court of Appeal (in 2019) that a conclusion of suicide requires proof to the civil standard.

The judgment can be found here:

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