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decisionby throwing a dice or consulting an astrological chart? (Cf R v Young [1995] QB 324.) 3 If a plaintiff is able to establish that there is a 51% probability that the defendant’s wrong caused his injury, ought the plaintiff to succeed (assuming all the other requirements for a cause of action are satisfied)? 4 Is it true to say that a court of law is never engaged in any search for truth?
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Denning LJ:…No one can doubt that the judge, in intervening as he did, was actuated by the best motives…

Nevertheless we are quite clear that the interventions, taken together, were far more than they should have been. In the system of trial which we have evolved in this country, the judge sits to hear and determine the issues raised by the parties, not to conduct an investigation or examination on behalf of society at large, as happens, we believe, in some foreign countries. Even in England, however, a judge is not a mere umpire to answer the question: “How’s that?” His object, above all, is to find out the truth, and to do justice according to the law; and in the daily pursuit of it the advocate plays an honourable and necessary role…

So firmly is all this established in our law that the judge is not allowed in a civil dispute to call a witness whom he thinks might throw some light on the facts… So also it is for the advocates, each in his turn, to examine the witnesses, and not for the judge to take it on himself lest by so doing he appear to favour one side or the other… The judge’s part in all this is to hearken to the evidence, only himself asking questions of witnesses when it is necessary to clear up any point that has been overlooked or left obscure; to see that the advocates behave themselves seemly and keep to the rules laid down by law; to exclude irrelevancies and discourage repetition; to make sure by wise intervention that he follows the points that the advocates are making and can assess their worth; and at the end to make up his mind where the truth lies. If he goes beyond this, he drops the mantle of a judge and assumes the robe of an advocate; and the change does not become him well…