--- layout: post status: publish published: true title: ! 'In Dubio Contra Reum: a definition' wordpress_id: 810 wordpress_url: https://www.martineve.com/?p=810 date: !binary |- MjAxMS0wMy0wNCAxMDoyNjoyMCArMDEwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMS0wMy0wNCAxMDoyNjoyMCArMDEwMA== categories: - Academia tags:  comments: - id: 6271 author: Jacqueline Prescott author_email: firstname.lastname@example.org author_url: '' date: !binary |- MjAxMS0wNC0wNCAwMzoyNzo0MCArMDIwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMS0wNC0wNCAwMzoyNzo0MCArMDIwMA== content: ! 'Thank you for sharing. I am reading Eichmann in Jerusalem and I did not know how to translate that phrase!!!' - id: 6272 author: Martin Paul Eve author_email: email@example.com author_url: '' date: !binary |- MjAxMS0wNC0wNCAwODo0Nzo1OSArMDIwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMS0wNC0wNCAwODo0Nzo1OSArMDIwMA== content: ! 'Excellent! I''m really glad you found this; was unsure if anybody would ever find this page while reading Eichmann in Jerusalem.' - id: 6608 author: Adrian author_email: firstname.lastname@example.org author_url: '' date: !binary |- MjAxMi0wMi0wMSAyMToyNjowMCArMDEwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMi0wMi0wMSAyMToyNjowMCArMDEwMA== content: Thanks! Not only encountered the same lack of search results as you, also reading the very same reference! - id: 6609 author: Martin Paul Eve author_email: email@example.com author_url: https://www.martineve.com date: !binary |- MjAxMi0wMi0wMiAwNjoyNTowMCArMDEwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMi0wMi0wMiAwNjoyNTowMCArMDEwMA== content: Glad it helped! Enjoy the Arendt. - id: 6692 author: Jim Akin author_email: firstname.lastname@example.org author_url: '' date: !binary |- MjAxMi0wNC0yNCAxMTozMTo0MiArMDIwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMi0wNC0yNCAxMTozMTo0MiArMDIwMA== content: ! "Thank you for this! The meaning of the phrase is pretty clear in context, but I thought it might have a more technical meaning. It sounds as though Arendt was using Latin rhetorically, rather than citing a specific legal principle?\r\n\r\nFor what it's worth, I'm reading the series of articles from The New Yorker that were eventually published in book form as \"Eichmann in Jerusalem.\" The articles share that title, with each of the five installments denoted by a roman numeral. \"In dubio contra reum\" appears in part IV, issue date March 9, 1963, on page 126." - id: 6693 author: Martin Paul Eve author_email: email@example.com author_url: '' date: !binary |- MjAxMi0wNC0yNCAxNjoxODo0MSArMDIwMA== date_gmt: !binary |- MjAxMi0wNC0yNCAxNjoxODo0MSArMDIwMA== content: Thanks for the comment! Yes, I was searching for a more detailed response to that which I could deduce contextually. I think, though, because of the legal context of Eichmann in Jerusalem that Arendt is referring directly to the legal principle. ---
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I am currently reading Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem and came across the phrase "in dubio contra reum" on p. 214. My Latin being a little rusty, and it being late in the day, I whacked the term into Google and was disappointed to find that there was no adequate definition of the term in the search results; merely band names and a German entry. Anyway, thinking about it a bit more and looking up "reum" in my Latin dictionary reveals the definition, which I thought I'd share.
The definition of in dubio contra reum is "in doubt, against the accused", meaning that, where there is doubt, the accused in a trial is not given the benefit of that doubt; they are assumed guilty.
In Arendt's case, for those interested, she concludes that there was a lack of corroborating evidence of Eichmann's complicity in the deportation of all Jews to Auschwitz and Arendt therefore applies the term to the verdict on this score.