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The doctrine of command responsibility

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Chapter Summary

Article 28 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court deals with command responsibility. The doctrine of command responsibility goes back to the dawn of time, though it has taken several different forms. In order to understand the modern concept of command responsibility, it is necessary to go back at least to the end of the First World War. The principles of command responsibility derived from the Yamashita case were incorporated into both the British and United States Manuals. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the federal structure of Yugoslavia led to bitter ethnic conflict between the different groupings in that country. The initial doctrine of command responsibility, as propounded during and after the Yamashita case, was very wide.

Keywords: Cold War; command responsibility; First World War; International Criminal Court; Yamashita



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