“Onus” in a useful phrase

“Onus” literally means “responsibility” or “duty”, while “burden” literally means “charge” or “encumbrance”. Nevertheless, when they are used in the phrase “to have the onus of proving that…” and “to have the burden of proving that…”, their meanings become synonymous.

Remember that apart from the three phrases that you can see in the infographic above, namely “to have the onus of proving that”, “to have the burden of proving that”, and “to have the burden of proof”, you can also express the same meaning by saying that “the burden of proof is on somebody” or “the burden of proof lies on somebody.”

Thank you for learning Legal English with me!

Anna Mlodawska, LL.M.

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