Individual paradigmatic acts to support a conviction

Notion(s) Filing Case
Rule 98bis Judgement - 11.07.2013 KARADŽIĆ Radovan

37. The Appeals Chamber recalls that a judgement of acquittal shall only be entered pursuant to Rule 98 bis of the Rules “if there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction”.[1] Moreover, the Appeals Chamber recalls that pursuant to Rule 98 bis of the Rules, a trial chamber is required to “assume that the prosecution’s evidence [is] entitled to credence unless incapable of belief” and “take the evidence at its highest”.[2] The Appeals Chamber notes that the evidence reviewed by the Trial Chamber, taken at its highest, indicates that Bosnian Muslims and/or Bosnian Croats suffered injuries, including rape and severe non-fatal physical violence which are, on their face, suggestive of causing serious bodily harm.[3] While the commission of individual paradigmatic acts does not automatically demonstrate that the actus reus of genocide has taken place, the Appeals Chamber considers that no reasonable trial chamber reviewing the specific evidence on the record in this case, including evidence of sexual violence and of beatings causing serious physical injuries,[4] could have concluded that it was insufficient to establish the actus reus of genocide in the context of Rule 98 bis of the Rules. Accordingly, the Trial Chamber failed to take the evidence at its highest.

[1] Rule 98 bis of the Rules. See also supra [Judgement], para. 9.

[2] Jelisić Appeal Judgement, para. 55.

[3] Seromba Appeal Judgement, para. 46. See also Seromba Appeal Judgement, para. 48 (referring to “heinous crimes that obviously constitute serious bodily or mental harm, such as rape and torture”).

[4] See supra [Judgement], nn. 86-107. 

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ICTR Rule Rule 98 bis ICTY Rule Rule 98 bis