Article 28 of the Rome Statute explicitly provides that the command responsibility doctrine may be applied to both ‘commanders and other superiors', and sets out separate criteria for the two categories of superiors. The question arises how the doctrine should be applied by the International Criminal Court and by other international courts and tribunals. Up until now, the doctrine has been applied to both military and civilian superiors without a distinctive provision.
The author examines the applicability of the command responsibility doctrine to civilian superiors, taking as a point of departure the origin of the doctrine and the unique position of the commander. An analysis of cases against civilian leaders identifies the challenges that prosecutors and judges face in these cases. The author provides, finally, an assessment of the remaining hurdles in the application of the doctrine, and offers a solution which is based on respect for the purpose of the doctrine.
The book is a valuable source and tool for academics and practitioners in international criminal law and international humanitarian law, academics and students at National Defence Colleges, as well as military legal advisers and higher military officers.
Maria L. Nybondas is an Associate Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, The Hague, The Netherlands.