Facts, Evidence and Ascertaining the Facts

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.8, 2017


Facts, Evidence and Ascertaining the Facts



Zhang Baosheng


The features of facts and evidence and the relationship between the two are questions belonging to the meta-theory of evidence law. Facts as the logical starting point of evidence law contain the seeds of various questions relating to the ascertainment of fact, and the unfolding over time of their inherent features, especially their experiential character, shapes the basic nature of evidence and determines that the ascertainment of fact is necessarily a process of experiential reasoning. The true picture of the facts that a seeker ascertains through the “mirror of evidence” is a judgment of their possibility which will fall short of absolute certainty, but possesses probability or verisimilitude. As theories of judicial proof move from precise probability towards blurred probability or verisimilitude, they can serve as a reference for judicial reform or research on the law of evidence in China.