Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Focus on Litigation: Burden of Proof in Omani Court Cases

We often are asked by clients what the burden of proof is in the Omani Courts. For example, some clients may be accustomed to the U.S. court system where the “preponderance of the evidence” standard commonly applies to civil cases, and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard typically applies to criminal cases.

However, the truth is that burden of proof is an undeveloped area of Omani law.

The general premise is that, in a civil or commercial case, the claimant has the burden of proof; but the reality is that defendants have to prove their lines of defence to the Court’s satisfaction.

Ultimately, each Omani case turns on its own idiosyncratic facts. The key to success is to be the most persuasive litigant in any given case. The Courts have to believe that your arguments are both legally sound and supported by the evidence.

Similarly, there is no codification regarding the burden of proof in Omani criminal cases. However, the reality is that the burden of proof is very high in a criminal matter – the case has to be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.