Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Section A. Individual criminal responsibility
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Violations of the law of war must be repressed by … criminal sanctions.”
The Regulations also states: “Regarding serious violations of the law of war, a State must ensure the criminal punishment of the author of such an offence.”
Burundi’s Military Penal Code (1980) states:
Without prejudice to the repression of offences which constitute infractions of common law, the infractions of the laws and customs of war [and] of international conventions on matters related to war are punished according to the provisions of the present code.
Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
Any person who conceives, plans, conspires, orders, incites to commit, attempts to commit or commits one of the offences proscribed by Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the present law, is culpable of the crime of genocide, a crime against humanity [and/or] a war crime, respectively, according to the modes of criminal participation as stipulated by Articles 67 to 69 of the penal code.
Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
Anyone who conceives or plans a crime of genocide, crime against humanity and war crime is punishable by penal servitude for life.
A person who orders or publicly incites the commission of a crime of genocide, crime against humanity or war crime shall be subject to the penalty of penal servitude for life.
The Code also states:
[The following persons] shall be considered as perpetrators:
1°. Those who personally took direct part in the perpetration of the offence or who directly cooperated for its perpetration;
2°. Those who, by any action, aided the perpetration of the offence, which would not have taken place without their assistance.
Those who, without directly participating in the perpetration of an offence and without providing an indispensable assistance to its perpetration, [have committed the following actions] shall be considered as accomplices of the offence:
1°. Caused the action [commission of the offence] by means of a gift, promise, threat, abuse of authority and power, culpable subterfuge or artifice, or gave instructions for its commission;
2°. Procured weapons, instruments, or any other means used for the action, with knowledge that they would be used for such purpose;
3°. With knowledge, aided by all means or assisted the perpetrator(s) with the acts which prepared, facilitated or consummated the action;
4°. With knowledge of their criminal conduct, habitually provided accommodation or a place for refuge or meeting to one or more criminals;
5°. Directly caused the perpetrator(s) to commit the action, either by incitement to commit the offence through speeches given in meetings or public places, or by written or printed texts which were sold, distributed, put up for sale or exposed in places of public meetings or in placards or notices exhibited in a place where they can be seen by the public;
6°. Concealed or aided the criminals in accordance with the conditions provided for in article 305 [regarding the concealment of objects obtained through an offence].
The person who intentionally instigated another person to commit an offence shall be subject to the same penalty applicable to the perpetrator of the offence in case the latter is committed.
The Code also states:
… [C]oercion shall never be used as a defence argument regarding genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes provided for under international law; it might only be taken into consideration for a reduction of the penalty.
… [S]tate of necessity shall never be used as a defence argument regarding genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes provided for under international law; it might only be taken into consideration for a reduction of the penalty.