Bassiouni, Mahmoud Cherif
Bossiouni (1937) is an Egyptian-American lawyer and often referred to as the father of international justice. As a scholar at universities in the US, he made essential contributions to the development of international criminal law.
Beyond reasonable doubt
Beyond reasonable doubt is the highest threshold which will be applied to reach a final decision. Judges have to be convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” that a person is guilty in order to convict him or her. This is the highest of four different standards applied during the different phases.
- Beyond reasonable doubt: to determine guilt or innocence;
- Substantial grounds to believe: to confirm or decline charges;
- Reasonable grounds to believe: to issue an arrest warrant;
- Reasonable basis: to authorise an investigation
Burden of proof
A basic principle of criminal law is the duty of the prosecution to prove a person is guilty. In other words: it is not the task of the defence to prove an accused person’s innocence. The ICC‘s Rome Statute reads in article 67(1)(i) that the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor and cannot be reversed.
Benjamin Duerr is a correspondent and foreign reporter covering the International Criminal Court and the war crimes tribunals in The Hague.