This book offers an in-depth study of the command responsibility doctrine, pursuant to which military commanders and civilian leaders can be held responsible for the crimes committed by their subordinates that they failed to prevent or punish. This form of responsibility has gained much attention in the last years; however, it still presents several open questions and critical difficulties arise in its application. The author traces the roots of such criminal responsibility, from its military origins to its first appearances in international case law after World War II. Particular attention is given to the jurisprudence of the ad hoc Tribunals, which extensively elaborated on the issue, and to the provision of Article 28 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The book provides a systematic analysis of command responsibility, outlining its different forms and finding a proper role for it within the complex net of responsibilities that connotes the commission of international crimes.
This book is an important contribution to the literature and worldwide discussion on command responsibility and therefore highly recommended to scholars of international law, criminal law and international criminal law as well as to all practitioners (judges, legal assistants, prosecutors, defence counsels) working at or with international tribunals, experts in the military field, investigators dealing with international crimes, NGOs and journalists.
Chantal Meloni is working as a Researcher at the Criminal Law Department of the Università degli Studi of Milan, Italy. Since several years she specializes in international criminal law. She spent long research periods abroad, in particular at the Humboldt Universität of Berlin in Germany. She also worked at the International Criminal Court as a Legal Assistant in Chambers.
Click here for the book review in Criminal Law Forum, published online on 18 May 2013.