Practice Relating to Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes
In the Perišić and Others case in 1997, the District Court of Zadar in Croatia found the accused
guilty of issuing orders … in 1991 … during the armed clashes between the former so-called Yugoslav Army and the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia (National Guard forces, members of the police forces) as the officers in the aforementioned Yugoslav Army, who were in a position to issue orders for combat, orders which violated the [1907 Hague Convention IV] and the annexed [1907 Hague Regulations] (Article 25), Article 3 [of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV] and Articles 13 and 14 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II] … [The accused] gave and transmitted the orders to the subordinate commanders … All the accused violated the rules of international law, and in a situation of armed conflict, gave orders for attacks … in a manner that cannot be explained by military necessity.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, as the second instance court, concludes that the actions of the accused … satisfy all elements of the criminal offence of War Crimes against Civilians in violation of Article 120(1) of the BCCRC [Basic Criminal Code of the Republic of Croatia].