French law. Methods of proof

Everyone has the right to a fair trial, and the method of evidence used must be
be lawful and fair.

Article 1315-1 of the Civil Code establishes five modes of proof: “literal proof
evidence, testimonial evidence, presumptions, the admission of the party and the

A. Perfect evidence

1. Written or literal evidence

“Literal evidence, or evidence in writing, results from a sequence of letters
characters, numbers or any other signs or symbols with an intelligible meaning, regardless
intelligible meaning, regardless of their medium and the means of their transmission
according to article 1316 of the civil code.

Even in digital form, literal evidence retains its full force, as the law of
the law of June 21, 2004.

Theauthentic act is the act received by a public officer
who is competent to act in the place where it was drafted. The use of
to this authentic act is mandatory in certain cases, such as the sale of
sale of real estate or a marriage contract. The authentic act is enforceable:
it has the same value as a judgment.

Theprivate deed, or private signature deed, is drafted by the parties themselves or by a third party
drawn up by the parties themselves or by a third party, and signed by them or by a
or by a person whom they have appointed as their agent in order to settle a contractual
a contractual situation.

2. The confession

An admission is the recognition by a party of the accuracy of an allegation
and of a nature to produce legal consequences to its detriment.

An extrajudicial confession, i.e. one made outside the trial, has less probative force and is not
probative value and is not binding on the judge: the judge is not obliged to take it into
the judge is not obliged to take it into account.

3. The decisive oath

The decisive oath consists in solemnly swearing before a court of law to the existence of a fact
the existence of a fact that is favourable to him at the request of the adversary or the

If the opponent takes the oath, he wins the case; if he refuses, he loses the case
trial. The oath must relate to a fact that can convince the judge, and is
the oath must be about a fact that can convince the judge, and has an irrebuttable legal presumption of loyalty.

B. Imperfect Evidence

The following imperfect evidence is not binding on the judge, that is, the judge is not
judge is not obliged to take it into account.

1. Testimony

Testimony is a statement under oath by a person who is not a party to the trial
party to the trial about facts of which he or she has knowledge.

The judge has a free assessment of the probative value of this testimony.

Testimonial evidence, i.e. evidence based on testimony, is not always possible and is
is not always possible, and is, for example, except in the case of acts
of a value higher than 1500 euros according to the article 1341 of the civil code.

2. Presumptions of fact

A presumption of fact, or judicial presumption, or presumption of the
is a presumption that the judge freely induces from a fact to form his
to form his conviction, without being obliged to do so by law.

The judge thus deduces from known facts, and thanks to serious, precise
and concordant, the existence of an unknown fact.

3. The suppletive oath

The suppletive oath is an oath that is administered to the party who appears to be the most
trustworthy, by a judge who considers the evidence insufficient and wishes to have
wishes to have a complementary indication.

It is requested by the judge in the event of insufficient evidence and is intended to
to complete an imperfect proof.

4. The oath of office

This involves estimating, for the party entitled to compensation, the value of the
the value of the claim made in court, i.e. the amount of the

This oath presupposes that proof of the merits of the claim is
of the claim.

50 introductory law sheets