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    No.ICC01/0501/08 1/30 20April2009

    Original:English No.:ICC01/0501/08

    Date:20April2009

    PRETRIALCHAMBERII

    Before: JudgeEkaterinaTrendafilova,PresidingJudge

    JudgeHansPeterKaul

    JudgeFumikoSaiga

    SITUATIONINTHECENTRALAFRICANREPUBLIC

    INTHECASEOF

    THEPROSECUTOR

    v.JEANPIERREBEMBAGOMBO

    PublicDocument

    AMICUSCURIAEOBSERVATIONSONSUPERIORRESPONSIBILITY

    SUBMITTEDPURSUANTTORULE103OFTHERULESOFPROCEDUREAND

    EVIDENCE

    Source: AmnestyInternational

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    Documenttobenotifiedinaccordancewithregulation31oftheRegulationsoftheCourtto:

    TheOfficeoftheProsecutor

    MsFatouBensouda,DeputyProsecutor

    MsPetraKneuer,SeniorTrialLawyer

    CounselfortheDefence

    MrNkwebeLiriss

    MrKarimA.A.Khan

    MrAimKiloloMusamba

    MrPierreLegros

    LegalRepresentativesofVictims

    MsMarieEdithDouzimaLawson

    LegalRepresentativesofApplicants

    UnrepresentedVictims UnrepresentedApplicantsfor

    Participation/Reparation

    TheOfficeofPublicCounselfor

    Victims

    Ms.PaolinaMassidda

    TheOfficeofPublicCounselforthe

    Defence

    StatesRepresentatives

    REGISTRY

    AmicusCuriae

    Registrar

    MsSilvanaArbia

    DefenceSupportSection

    VictimsandWitnessesUnit DetentionSection

    VictimsParticipationandReparations

    Section

    Other

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    I. INTRODUCTION1. Theeffectiveexerciseofcommandisanessentialtoolinensuringthatcrimesunderinternationallawarepreventedand,iftheynonethelessoccur,arepunished:

    Sincecommandersarethecriticalpathtoenabling[an]organizationtofight

    collectivelytheylogicallymustbethecriticalpathtocontrollingandfocusingthe

    violencewhichtheyaloneareresponsibleforreleasingontothebattlefield.1 The

    applicationandinterpretationofthedoctrineofsuperiorresponsibilityisthusof

    paramountimportancetomilitarycommandersandothersuperiors;2tothosewho

    canbeaffectedbysuchsuperiorsexercise,orfailuretoexercise,theircommandor

    authorityappropriately;andtotheinternationalcommunityasawhole.

    2. ThiscasepresentstheInternationalCriminalCourt(theCourt)withitsfirstopportunitytoanalysethescopeandcontentofthedoctrineofsuperior

    responsibilityunderArticle28oftheRomeStatute(theStatute). Itraisesspecific

    questionsthatcouldhaveasignificanteffectonthemannerinwhichthedoctrineis

    understoodandimplementedworldwide. Inlightoftheseconsiderations,on6April

    2009,AmnestyInternationalsoughtleavefromthePreTrialChamber,underRule

    103(1)oftheRulesofProcedureandEvidence,tosubmitobservationsasamicuscuriaeoncertainissuesrelatedtosuperiorresponsibility.3 Pursuanttothedecision

    dated9April2009grantingthisapplication,4AmnestyInternationalherebysubmits

    observationson:(i)thementalelementapplicabletomilitarycommandersabsent

    actualknowledge;(ii)criminalresponsibilityforthefailuretosubmitamatterto

    1 MichaelA.NewtonandCaseyKuhlman,WhyWarlordsEvadetheLawofCommandResponsibility:A

    PleaforaMoreAppropriateConceptionofEffectiveControlat48(draftarticlependingpublication,onfile

    withamicuscuriae).MichaelNewtonisProfessorofthePracticeofLawatVanderbiltUniversityLaw

    School. Heisaretiredmilitaryattorney,andwasamemberoftheU.S.delegationthatnegotiatedtheElementsofCrimes,whichassisttheCourtintheinterpretationandapplicationofthecrimeswithin

    itsjurisdiction.2 Unlessotherwisespecified,thetermssuperior(s)andsuperiorresponsibilityrefertoboth

    militaryandciviliansuperiors,whilethetermcommander(s)refersonlytomilitarysuperiors.3 ApplicationForLeavetoSubmitAmicusCuriaeObservationsPursuanttoRule103oftheRulesof

    ProcedureandEvidence,6April2009,ICC01/0501/08399.4 DecisiononApplicationforLeavetoSubmitAmicusCuriaeObservationsPursuanttoRule103of

    theRulesofProcedureandEvidence,9April2009,ICC01/0501/08401.

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    competentauthoritiesasappliedtononstateactors;and(iii)whethercausationisan

    elementofsuperiorresponsibility.5

    II. MENTALELEMENTAPPLICABLETOMILITARYCOMMANDERSABSENT

    ACTUAL

    KNOWLEDGE

    3. ThementalstatessufficienttogroundcriminalresponsibilityformilitarycommandersunderArticle28(a)(i)representanexpressandintendedpolicychoice

    ofthedraftersoftheStatutetostrengthencommandersobligationsbeyondthose

    undercustomaryinternationallaw. Asexplainedbelow,absentactualknowledge,6

    customaryinternationallawimposescriminalresponsibilityonasuperioronlyifhe

    orsheisonnoticeofsubordinatescrimes,whileArticle28(a)(i)extendscriminal

    responsibilitytoamilitarycommanderwhoshouldhaveknownofsubordinates

    crimes. Consequently,Article28(a)(i)replacesthepassivenoticestandardunder

    customaryinternationallawwithamoreactivedutytotakestepsthatwillallow

    commanderstoknowofcrimescommittedbytheirsubordinates.

    A. CustomaryInternationalLawImposesCriminalResponsibilityIfaSuperiorisonNoticeofCrimes,ButDoes

    NotImposeanActiveDutytoSeekInformation

    4.

    Internationallegal

    instruments

    codifying

    the

    doctrine

    of

    superior

    responsibilityrecognisebothactualknowledgeandconstructiveknowledgeas

    satisfyingthementalelementrequirementofthisformofresponsibilityand,forthe

    latter,articulateanoticestandard. Article86(2)ofAdditionalProtocolItothe

    GenevaConventionsof1949(AdditionalProtocolI)thefirstcomprehensive

    codificationofthesuperiorresponsibilitydoctrineprovidesthatsuperiorsarenot

    absolvedofresponsibilityiftheyknew,orhadinformationwhichshouldhave

    5 AmnestyInternationalwishestothanktheinternationallawexpertswhoprovidedadviceduring

    thedraftingofthisbrief,includingCharlesGarraway(inhispersonalcapacity),MichaelA.Newton

    andPatriciaViseurSellers.6 BothArticle28andcustomaryinternationallawimposecriminalresponsibilityonsuperiorsfor

    thecrimesoftheirsubordinateswherethesuperiorhadactualknowledgeofthecrime. SeeProsecutor

    v.Delali,Muci,Deli,andLando,CaseNo.IT9621T,Judgment,16Nov.1998(elebiiTrial

    Judgment),383;Prosecutorv.Muci,Deli,andLando,CaseNo.IT9621A,Judgment,20Feb.2001

    (elebiiAppealJudgment),222,239; Prosecutorv.Sesay,Kallon,andGbao,CaseNo.SCSL0415

    T,Judgment,2Mar.2009(RUFTrialJudgment),282,309.

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    enabledthemtoconcludeinthecircumstancesatthetimethatasubordinatewas

    committingorgoingtocommitabreachoftheGenevaConventionsorAdditional

    ProtocolI.7 Similarly,draftArticle6oftheInternationalLawCommissions(ILC)

    DraftCodeofCrimesagainstthePeaceandSecurityofMankindprovidesthat

    superiorsarenotrelievedofresponsibilityiftheykneworhadreasontoknow,in

    thecircumstancesatthetimethatasubordinatewascommittingorwasgoingto

    commitacrime.8 ThestatutesoftheInternationalCriminalTribunalfortheformer

    Yugoslavia(ICTY),theInternationalCriminalTribunalforRwanda(ICTR),and

    theSpecialCourtforSierraLeone(SCSL)eachprovidethatasuperiorisnot

    relievedofcriminalresponsibilityif[he]kneworhadreasontoknowofthe

    subordinatescrimes.9 ThestudybytheInternationalCommitteeoftheRedCross

    (ICRC)alsostatesthatasamatterofcustomaryinternationallaw,thementalelement

    forsuperiorresponsibilityisknowledgeorreasontoknow.10

    5. Despiteearliercaselawsuggestingapositiveobligationonmilitarycommanderstoobtaininformationirrespectiveofnotice,11contemporary

    internationalcriminaltribunalshavelimitedconstructiveknowledgetoamore

    7 ProtocolAdditionaltotheGenevaConventionsof12August1949,andRelatingtotheProtection

    ofVictimsofInternationalArmedConflicts,Art.86(2),1125U.N.T.S.3,enteredintoforce7Dec.1978(AdditionalProtocolI).8 DraftCodeofCrimesAgainstthePeaceandSecurityofMankind,Art.6,inReportofthe

    InternationalLawCommissionontheWorkofItsFortyeighthSession,UNDoc.A/51/10(1996)(ILC

    DraftCode). TheILCDraftCodeseekstocodifyinternationalcrimespursuanttoG.A.Res.174(II)

    (21Nov.1947).9 StatuteoftheInternationalCriminalTribunalfortheProsecutionofPersonsResponsiblefor

    SeriousViolationsofInternationalHumanitarianLawCommittedintheTerritoryoftheformer

    Yugoslaviasince1991,(1993)32ILM1159,asamendedbySecurityCouncilResolution1660of28Feb.

    2006(ICTYStatute),Art.7(3);StatuteoftheInternationalCriminalTribunalforRwanda,(1994)33

    ILM1602,asamendedbySecurityCouncilResolution1534of26Mar.2004(ICTRStatute),Art.6(3);

    StatuteoftheSpecialCourtforSierraLeone,2178UNTS138,U.N.Doc.S/2002/246,16Jan.2002,

    AppendixII(SCSLStatute),Art.6(3). Theseprovisionshavebeenheldtoreflectcustomary

    internationallaw. SeeelebiiAppealJudgment,supranote6,241;Prosecutorv.Bagilishema,CaseNo.

    ICTR951AT,7June2001(BagilishemaTrialJudgement),37.10 JeanMarieHenckaertsandLouiseDoswaldBeck,InternationalCommitteeoftheRedCross,

    CustomaryInternationalHumanitarianLaw,Vol.I(Rules)558,r153(2005)(ICRCStudy).11 SeeTrialofWilhelmListandOthers(CaseNo.47),UnitedNationsWarCrimesCommission,Law

    ReportsofTrialsofWarCriminals(1949),Vol.VIII,p.71(Ifhefailstorequireandobtaincomplete

    information,thederelictionofdutyrestsuponhimandheisinnopositiontopleadhisown

    derelictionasadefence.).

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    restrictivenoticestandard. Intheelebiicase,theAppealsChamberoftheICTY

    consideredthedutiesimposedonsuperiorsundercustomaryinternat