Presiding over the Ex-President: A Look at Superior Responsibility in Light of the Kosovo Indictment


Individual criminal responsibility, and command responsibility in particular, are important because, to deter human rights abuses, potential perpetrators must perceive prosecution as a possible consequence of their actions. Historically, the doctrine of command responsibility has been an important tool to hold accountable leaders who plan, participate in, or acquiesce in large-scale human rights abuses. The scope of the command responsibility doctrine remains one of the most important issues in prosecuting human rights atrocities. The scope of the doctrine determines the degree to which a leader can insulate himself from criminal culpability when the criminal acts were committed by others but were caused by either the leader’s lack of diligence or acquiescence leading to subordinates not having scant regard for the dictates of human rights or international humanitarian law. This Article discusses Slobodan Milosevic’s responsibility as a superior in light of the Kosovo indictmen


International Law

Date of this Version

May 2006