Proof beyond reasonable doubt
|Appeal Judgement - 08.10.2008||
Martić contested the Trial Chamber’s use of the term “high degree of probability” as being the applicable standard of proof. The Appeal Chamber dismissed this ground of appeal but provided guidance as to the applicable standard.
55. The Appeals Chamber observes that for a finding of guilt on an alleged crime, a reasonable trier of fact must have reached the conclusion that all the facts which are material to the elements of that crime have been proven beyond reasonable doubt by the Prosecution. At the conclusion of the case, the accused is entitled to the benefit of the doubt as to whether the offence has been proved.
56. In its Judgement, the Trial Chamber clearly referred to the principle laid down in Article 21(3) of the Statute that an accused must be considered innocent until proven guilty. Moreover, the Trial Chamber recalled that, according to Rule 87(A) of the Rules, it is for the Prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. In a footnote, the Trial Chamber specified that it interpreted the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard as a “high degree of probability”, but not as “certainty or proof beyond a shadow of doubt”.
57. The Appeals Chamber finds that the Trial Chamber’s reference to a “high degree of probability” in one of the footnotes to the section on standard of proof is confusing and not in accordance with the standard of proof of a criminal trial. […]
61. […] the Appeals Chamber notes that it is unhelpful to try and explain the standard of proof other than by stating that the standard requires a finder of fact to be satisfied that there is no reasonable explanation of the evidence other than the guilt of the accused.
 Čelebići Trial Judgement, para. 601. See also Halilović Appeal Judgement, para. 109.
 Trial Judgement, para. 21.
 Trial Judgement, para. 21, referring, inter alia, to Krnojelac Trial Judgement, para. 66.
 Trial Judgement, fn. 19.
 Cf. Halilović Appeal Judgement, para. 109.
|ICTR Statute Article 20(3) ICTY Statute Article 21(3) ICTR Rule Rule 87(A) ICTY Rule Rule 87(A)|
|Appeal Judgement - 26.05.2003||
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488. […] The reasonable doubt standard in criminal law cannot consist in imaginary or frivolous doubt based on empathy or prejudice. It must be based on logic and common sense, and have a rational link to the evidence, lack of evidence or inconsistencies in the evidence. […]
|Appeal Judgement - 07.07.2006||
NTAGERURA et al. (Cyangugu)
At paras 174 and 175, the Appeals Chamber recalled that, when facts upon which a finding of guilt or the sentence depend are under consideration, such finding must be made beyond reasonable doubt.
See also :
- Stakić Appeal Judgement, para. 219: “A Trial Chamber may only find an accused guilty of a crime if the Prosecution has proved each element of that crime (as defined with respect to the relevant mode of liability) beyond a reasonable doubt.”
- Čelebići Appeal Judgement, para. 763: “[O]nly those matters which are proved beyond reasonable doubt against an accused may be the subject of an accused’s sentence or taken into account in aggravation of that sentence.”
 Vasiljević Appeal Judgement, para. 120; Ntakirutimana Appeal Judgement, para. 171; Semanza Trial Judgement, para. 148; Musema Trial Judgement, para. 108; Čelebići Trial Judgement, para. 601.
|Appeal Judgement - 12.11.2009||
20. […] The Appeals Chamber recalls that the standard of proof “requires a finder of fact to be satisfied that there is no reasonable explanation of the evidence other than the guilt of the accused”. The Appeals Chamber also emphasizes that “for a finding of guilt on an alleged crime, a reasonable trier of fact must have reached the conclusion that all the facts which are material to the elements of that crime have been proven beyond reasonable doubt by the Prosecution”. Therefore, not each and every fact in the Trial Judgement must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, but only those on which a conviction or the sentence depends. The Appeals Chamber also recalls that as a general rule, the standard of appellate review, namely whether “no reasonable trier of fact could have reached the conclusion of guilt beyond reasonable doubt”, permits a conclusion to be upheld on appeal even where other inferences sustaining guilt could reasonably have been drawn at trial”. However, an inference drawn from circumstantial evidence to establish a fact that is material to the conviction or sentence cannot be upheld on appeal if another reasonable conclusion consistent with the non-existence of that fact was also open on that evidence, given that such inference should be the only reasonable one.
The Appeals Chamber overturned the Trial Chamber’s conclusions with respect to one incident where it found that the origin of fire was not established beyond reasonable doubt:
230. […] Accordingly, given the presence of both ABiH and SRK positions in the same direction, but located at different distance from the Baščaršija flea market, an analysis of the charge could have determined with greater precision the position where the shell was fired from. […] The Trial Chamber failed to address these deficiencies and to articulate its reasons for dismissing other possible conclusions with respect to the origin of fire. The Appeals Chamber therefore notes that whereas the evidence presented was sufficient to establish the direction of the fire, it was insufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt its origin, taking into account the positions of the warring parties at the time of the incident.
232. In light of the above, the Appeals Chamber finds that the evidence on the record could lead a reasonable Trial Chamber to conclude that it was most likely that the shells that hit the Baščaršija flea market on 22 December 1994 were fired from SRK-held territory, but not to establish this beyond reasonable doubt.
 Mrkšić and Šljivančanin Appeal Judgement, para. 220; Martić Appeal Judgement, para. 61.
 Martić Appeal Judgement, para. 55; Čelebići Trial Judgement, para. 601; Halilović Appeal Judgement, para. 109. See also Kvočka et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 23:
The Appeals Chamber recalls that every accused has the right to a reasoned opinion under Article 23 of the Statute and Rule 98ter(C) of the Rules. However, this requirement relates to the Trial Chamber’s Judgement; the Trial Chamber is not under the obligation to justify its findings in relation to every submission made during the trial. The Appeals Chamber recalls that it is in the discretion of the Trial Chamber as to which legal arguments to address. With regard to the factual findings, the Trial Chamber is required only to make findings of those facts which are essential to the determination of guilt on a particular count. It is not necessary to refer to the testimony of every witness or every piece of evidence on the trial record. […] (footnotes omitted).
 Ntagerura et al. Appeal Judgement, paras 174-175. See also Mrkšić and Šljivančanin Appeal Judgement. para. 217, recalling that “a trier of fact should render a reasoned opinion on the basis of the entire body of evidence and without applying the standard of proof 'beyond reasonable doubt' with a piecemeal approach”.
 Ntagerura et al. Appeal Judgement, para. 305, citing Kordić and Čerkez Appeal Judgement, para. 288.
 Čelebići Appeal Judgement, para. 458. The Appeals Chamber recalls that, in such cases, “the question for the Appeals Chamber is whether it was reasonable for the Trial Chamber to exclude or ignore other inferences that lead to the conclusion that an element of the crime was not proven” (Stakić Appeal Judgement, para. 219). See also Karera Appeal Judgement, para. 34.
|Appeal Judgement - 04.12.2001||
KAYISHEMA & RUZINDANA
77. The Appeals Chamber cannot accept the argument that the phrase “persons responsible for” used in resolution 955 implies that the Tribunal was unable to discharge its judicial functions. The Appeals Chamber recalls that the principle of the presumption of innocence is reiterated in Article 20(3) of the Statute:
“The accused person shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to the provisions of the present Statute.”
The Appeals Chamber reiterates with force its holding in Barayagwiza.
107. […] The Appeals Chamber recalls that in conformity with the principle of presumption of innocence, as enunciated in the Judgement, supra, it is the duty of the Prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
 The Prosecutor v. Barayagwiza, Decision (Prosecutor’s Request for Review and Reconsideration), Case No. ICTR-97-19-AR72, 31 March 2000, para. 35.
 See also the section of this Judgement on fair trial (III, A, paras. 50-51).
|ICTR Statute Article 20(3) ICTY Statute Article 21(3)|