International criminal tribunals face an enormous task when they seek to analyse the thousands of pages of evidence that are presented in the course of their trials, and to draw conclusions on the guilt or innocence of accused persons based on that evidence. Yet, whilst rules of admissibility have been subjected to a great deal of academic commentary, many key debates relating to proof in international criminal trials have remained under-theorised to date. This paper discusses the evaluation of evidence in international criminal trials. It argues that, despite over two decades of practice in contemporary international criminal tribunals, no consistent approach as to how judges should weigh evidence and use it for fact-finding has emerged. The quality of evidence required to meet the standard of proof at different stages of proceedings in the International Criminal Court remains uncertain. Furthermore, it shall be argued that the structure of international criminal judgments can detract from the clarity of their findings, and this in turn has an impact on their legal and sociological legitimacy.


Yvonne McDermott Rees is Associate Professor of Law at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University. She is the author of Fairness in International Criminal Trials (Oxford University Press, 2016) and over 50 journal articles and book chapters on international criminal procedure, human rights, and the law of evidence in international criminal trials. She is an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, and a Door Tenant at Invictus Chambers, London.


The PIL Discussion Group hosts a weekly speaker event and light lunch and is a key focal point for PIL@Oxford. Topics involve contemporary and challenging issues in international law. Speakers include distinguished international law practitioners, academics, and legal advisers from around the world.
The group typically meets each Thursday during Oxford terms in The Old Library, All Souls College, with lunch commencing at 12:30. The speaker will commence at 12:45 and speak for about forty minutes, allowing about twenty five minutes for questions and discussion. The meeting should conclude before 2:00. Practitioners, academics and students from within and outside the University of Oxford are all welcome. No RSVP is necessary. Join the PIL Email List to receive information about the PIL Discussion Group meetings, as well as other PIL@Oxford news.
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Convenors of the Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group are Talita de Souza Dias and Daniel Kaasik.
The discussion group's meetings are part of the programme of the British Branch of the International Law Association and are supported by the Law Faculty and Oxford University Press.