Related Rule
Canada
Practice Relating to Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
Any person who … ordered … a war crime described in Sections 2 and 3 [crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, genocide, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, violations of the Hague Conventions and customary law] may be held criminally responsible for the crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 16-4, § 24.
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “The issuance of a manifestly unlawful order is a crime in itself.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 11, § 5.
The Code of Conduct also states: “The importance of leadership and discipline cannot be overstated. Good leaders do not issue manifestly unlawful commands. They give clear orders which will not be misunderstood.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 11, § 6.
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs):
1014. Responsibility
1. The responsibility for the treatment of PWs rests upon the Detaining Power. Failure to properly care for PWs may make that power liable to pay compensation, while the individuals responsible for such ill-treatment or for allowing it to occur, are liable to be tried as war criminals.
1038. Breaches of PW Convention
1. Parties to the conflict shall take such measures as may be necessary to suppress and punish all breaches of [the 1949 Geneva Convention III]. If a breach amounts to a grave breach all persons responsible therefore, or having ordered such acts, shall, regardless of nationality, be liable to be tried by any party to [the 1949 Geneva Convention III]. They may also be handed over by the latter for trial by any other party to [the 1949 Geneva Convention III] able to prosecute effectively. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 1014 and 1038.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual states: “Any person who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a war crime … may be held criminally responsible for the crime”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1610.1.
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states:
If any person commits or orders others to commit [grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions or the 1977 Additional Protocol I], he is liable to be brought to trial in any country including his own or, if captured, in that of the enemy. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 103.1.
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) provides: “The issuance of a manifestly unlawful order is a crime in itself.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 11, § 5.
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The Code of Conduct also states: “The importance of leadership and discipline cannot be overstated. Good leaders do not issue manifestly unlawful commands. They give clear orders which will not be misunderstood.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 11, § 6.
In the Abbaye Ardenne case before a Canadian Military Court at Aurich, Germany, in 1945, the Judge Advocate considered that all circumstances had to be taken into account in order to determine if an officer was responsible for acts committed by his subordinates. He stated: “[I]t is not necessary for you to be convinced that a particular or formal order was given but you must be satisfied before you convict, that some words were uttered or some clear indication was given to the accused that prisoners were put to death.” 
Canada, Military Court at Aurich, Abbaye Ardenne case, Judgment, 10–28 December 1945.
In the Seward case in 1996, the Canadian Court Martial Appeal Court considered an appeal with regard to the sentence imposed by a General Court Martial on the officer commanding the 2 Commando unit of the Canadian Airborne Regiment present in Somalia as part of Operation Deliverance. The accused had been charged, inter alia, for having “negligently performed a military duty [imposed on him] in that he, … by issuing an instruction to his subordinates that prisoners could be abused, failed to properly exercise command over his subordinates, as it was his duty to do so”. The Court stated:
This count addressed a failure in command. The evidence … demonstrates that this failure resulted in, at best, confusion in 2 Commando and must be taken to have led ultimately to excesses by some of the respondent’s subordinates. This not only contributed to the death [of a Somali prisoner in the custody of the Command], of which the respondent was acquitted of being a party, but also contributed to several members of the Canadian Armed Forces committing serious lapses of discipline and ultimately finding themselves facing serious charges. Some have gone to prison as a result. These matters all properly related to the charge, as particularized, that the respondent “failed to properly exercise command over his subordinates”. 
Canada, Court Martial Appeal Court, Seward case, Judgment, 27 May 1996.
The Court decided to increase the sentence from a “severe reprimand” to three months imprisonment with dismissal. The Court stated that this sentence was merited by
the perilous circumstances in which this relatively senior officer deliberately pronounced what was an ambiguous, and a dangerously ambiguous, order. He not only pronounced it but essentially repeated it when questioned as to his meaning. While it was found that he had no direct personal connection with the beating and death of [the prisoner], … [the accused] was of a much superior rank as an officer and commander of the whole of 2 Commando. His education, training, and experience and his much greater responsibilities as commanding officer put him on a higher standard of care, a standard which he did not meet … What the evidence did show was the existence of a difficult situation for the maintenance of morale and discipline in which the giving of orders required particular care. Any sentence must provide a deterrent to such careless conduct by commanding officers which in the final analysis is a failure in meeting their responsibilities both to their troops and to Canada. 
Canada, Court Martial Appeal Court, Seward case, Judgment, 27 May 1996.
In 2012, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee against Torture with regard to Canada’s sixth periodic report, Canada stated:
Sections 5(1) and (2) and 7(1) and (2) [of the 2000 Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act] also create offences for a military commander or superior whose breaches of responsibility result in a crime against humanity or war crime. 
Canada, Written replies by the Government of Canada to the Committee against Torture concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the sixth periodic report of Canada, 2012, § 177.
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “Canadian Leadership in Addressing Syrian Crisis”, which stated: “‘Assad … is ultimately responsible for any use of chemical weapons that occurs on Syrian territory,’ said [Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird”. 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “Canadian Leadership in Addressing Syrian Crisis”, Press Release, 7 April 2013.