Practice Relating to Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
According to criminal responsibility, a person can be held responsible:
c. for acts committed by their subordinates when these are used as instruments, when the person has command responsibility [footnote: “For example, when the commander knowingly issues an illegal order and his or her subordinates obey the order believing it was legitimate, or even if they were aware of the illegal nature of the order but the commander exercised coercion over his or her subordinates, which made it impossible for them to disobey the order.”]
In addition to the above, a commander or a superior can be held responsible for passing on to his or her subordinates a manifestly unconstitutional or illegal order, even if it has been issued by his or her superiors.
[footnote in original omitted]
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states: “The order of a superior does not exempt the person who issues … the order from individual criminal responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law.”