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The Law of Command Responsibility - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Law of Command Responsibility

Guénaël Mettraux


The book studies the law of command or superior responsibility under international law. Born in the aftermath of the Second World War, the doctrine of superior responsibility provides that a military commander, a civilian leader or the leader of a terrorist, paramilitary, or rebel group could be held criminally responsible in relation to crimes committed by subordinates even where he has taken no direct or personal part in the commission of these crimes. The basis of this type of liability lies in a grave and culpable failure on the part of the superior to fulfil his duties to prevent or punis ... More

Keywords: command responsibility, superior responsibility, military commanders, civilian leaders, individual criminal responsibility, Yamashita, international criminal justice, criminal prosecution, responsible command

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199559329
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559329.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Guénaël Mettraux, author
Defence Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Formerly a legal assistant in the Chambers of the ICTY

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