What is the presumption of regularity?

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Presumption of Regularity is a legal principle applied in the US courts, and it falls in line with the idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty. According to the principle, unless proven otherwise, the procedures and transactions undertaken by a business, a corporate employee, a government department, or...

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Presumption of Regularity is a legal principle applied in the US courts, and it falls in line with the idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty. According to the principle, unless proven otherwise, the procedures and transactions undertaken by a business, a corporate employee, a government department, or a government official in carrying out their official duties are presumed to have been carried out according to established policy. This presumes that the person entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out the procedure was trained and aware of the proper way to perform the job and that he or she acted with integrity and followed correct procedure. In other words, the integrity of official acts and documents is presumed unless evidence can be provided that proves the contrary.

Here are a few examples:

A transcript sent with an official seal of a university is presumed to have been stamped with the official seal and not a forged one.

A business that is obligated to issue a disclaimer when a product is purchased is presumed to have issued the disclaimer. Thus, it is presumed that the customer received it.

A policy directive issued by the US president is presumed to have been issued for the reasons stated in the policy. Thus, it can only be evaluated on the information in the document itself.

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The presumption of regularity is a legal principle regarding the actions taken by a government.  What the principle holds is that any action that the government takes is presumed to be legal.  If a person believes that some action of the government or of a government official is illegal, that person must show that the presumption of legality is incorrect.  That is, the person must show that the government has acted illegally.

The presumption of regularity holds that any action taken by the government is legal until evidence is provided that shows that it is not legal.

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