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The Standard of Proof in Criminal Proceedings: the Threshold to Prove Guilt under Ethiopian Law

HA Zemichael


The standard of proof plays a vital role in the process of administration of
justice. In criminal proceedings, the standard stipulates the degree to which the party who has the burden of proof needs to establish the facts constituting the elements of the crime. This article gives an overview of the meaning and scope of the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard and subsequently argues that this standard is adopted in the Ethiopian legal system although it is nowhere clearly stated. It discusses the normative legal framework from which this standard can be inferred. It then explores the practice of the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Division by summarizing and analyzing cases most pertinent to the issue of standard of proof.


Key words: Standard of proof, beyond reasonable doubt, criminal proceedings, Ethiopia

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2309-902X
print ISSN: 1998-9881