In doubt pro reo

  Criminal law, crimes

In dubio pro convict in Latin it means doubt for him accused and is a fundamental legal principle in the criminal law. This principle expresses the obligation to benefit the accused of a crime when there is insufficient evidence to prove his guilt. 

This means that the Court or Judge is obliged to acquit the accused if there is any doubt about his guilt. Which he must do after evaluating the evidence and the doubt arises, which causes his innocence to be declared. 

Definition of In dubio pro reo

The origin of in dubio pro reo It is found in Roman law and is the need to be sure of the guilt of an accused to establish his punishment. This considers that it is preferable to acquit a guilty person than convict an innocent person.

This legal principle is part of a mandatory rule for Magistrates and Judges. Also for him Jury Court in certain cases when assessing the guilt or not of an accused.

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He in dubio pro reo must also be fulfilled by the Public Prosecutor's Office, the private accusation so you have to prove the guilt of the accused. Which they must do through the evidence available to them and they must do so without generating any doubt.

In cases where the tests are carried out and the trial ends, and the Judge has doubts about the guilt of the accused because the guilt has not been proven blame. The sentence handed down must be in favor of the accused, being acquittal. This legal principle is applied based on the principle of innocence.

This is because according to what the legal system establishes, "every person is innocent until the contrary can be proven." For this reason, when a Magistrate, Judge or Jury has doubts about whether a person is guilty or not, they must be declared innocent.

When does the in dubio pro reo principle apply?

The beginning in dubio pro reo It is established as one of the basic foundations of modern criminal law. In addition to being an essential guarantee in any legal and democratic State. 

This principle, which originates in Roman law and responds to the idea that the State prefers to acquit a guilty person than condemn an innocent one. According to this, this principle is a command and is directed to the court or judge. 

The principle aims to ensure that a conviction is not issued if there is no certainty of the accused's guilt. But according to the jurisprudence of the supreme court It is a precise interpretative rule that does not serve to evaluate the evidence; it should only be applied when there is no certainty of the accused's guilt based on the evidence presented.

The beginning in dubio pro reo It can only be used by the Court and the Judge, it cannot be used by any of the parties involved in the process. This means that the parties will not be able to request its application in cases in which the Court or the Judge has no doubt.

The beginning in dubio pro reo It only applies when a criminal process ends and the court or judge has some doubt related to the guilt of the accused. The application of this principle is related to the principle of non-retroactivity penal and the principle of legality. 

Principle of criminal non-retroactivity

This principle obliges us not to judge facts because it has been classified as a crime by a previous law and another subsequent law repealed it. The principle of criminal non-retroactivity is based on the fact that in order to criminally judge a person, the punishable conduct must be punished in a law prior to the moment in which the facts are judged.

In the event that another subsequent law softens, aggravates or repeals that penalty, the law that most benefits the accused must be applied.

Principle of legality

This principle states that in order to criminally judge a person for acts they have committed, they must be punished by law. In the event that they were not designated as a crime in the Penal Code, neither the person nor the facts can be prosecuted.