Saturday, April 25, 2009
Article argues for enhanced criminal accountability of commanders whose subordinates commit war crimes
This article presents a "theoretical framework, rooted in expressivist conceptions of harm, for holding a commander criminally responsible for an atrocity of his subordinates. More specifically, this Article argues that, where a commander's failure to punish an atrocity of his troops can be read as an expression of his support for his subordinates' act or the message it conveyed, his failure comes to constitute part of the injury. As such, he may be held criminally liable for the atrocity, and not just for neglecting his duty to punish." Amy J. Sepinwall, Failures to Punish: Command Responsibility in Domestic and International Law, 30 Mich. J. Int'l L. 251, 255 (2009) (footnote omitted). The article includes a discussion of the Haditha courts-martial. Id. at 275-80.