Practice Relating to Rule 153. Command Responsibility for Failure to Prevent, Punish or Report War Crimes
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states:
The fact that a breach of the law of war was committed by a subordinate does not absolve his superiors from penal or disciplinary responsibility … :
- if they knew or possessed information which would have enabled them to conclude, in the circumstances at the time, that this subordinate committed or was going to commit such a breach; and
- if they have not taken all feasible measures in their power to prevent or repress this breach.
The Regulations also states:
[E]ach commander at any level [within the military hierarchy] must, in case of a violation of the law of war, ensure … that the violation stops … [and] that disciplinary or penal action is taken. Command responsibility extends to violations of the law of war which result from a failure to act when under duty to do so.