Practice Relating to Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes
Belgium’s Disciplinary Regulations (1991) states: “Superiors … are liable for the orders they give.”
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides that “[t]he punishment for the following shall correspond to the punishment for the consummated offence: giving the order, even when non executed, to commit one of the offences under Articles 136 bis
[grave breaches of IHL]”.
Belgium’s Law on Discipline in the Armed Forces (1975) states that commanders are responsible for the orders they issue.
Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols (1993), as amended in 1999, which applies to both international and non-international conflicts, provides: “The following shall be punishable by the penalty provided for completed breaches: an order, even where it is not carried out, to commit one of the breaches listed in Article 1 [crime of genocide, crime against humanity and grave breaches].”