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2.3.3 Onus of Proof

No onus of proof imposed


No provision of the VEA may impose any onus on a claimant, applicant, the Commonwealth, or Department to prove or disprove any matter relevant to the determination of a claim or application.

Impact on investigation and determination of claims

The lack of an onus of proof does not remove from the Secretary the duties imposed by investigating a claim. Nor does it remove from the Commission the duty to satisfy itself on all matters relevant to determining a claim.    

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Impact on claimant

The absence of any onus of proof does not mean that a claimant or applicant is not required to assist in the investigation of his or her claim or application for review by providing any relevant evidence or information. Indeed, it is in the claimant's best interests to provide evidence to substantiate their claim.

Example from Federal Court

The Federal Court case of East (1987) 16 FCR 517 atp534 refers:

"the practical situation remains that it will often be in the interest of a [claimant]... to adduce particular evidence; the reason being that, in the absence of that evidence, the [delegate] will not be free to make the decision sought by [the claimant]".

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