Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Finland’s Revised Penal Code (1995) contains a chapter entitled “War crimes and crimes against humanity” and therein provides for the punishment of individuals who commit acts listed under the chapter. In some of the provisions in this chapter the Revised Penal Code specifies that the acts be committed “in an act of war” (Section 1) or punishes “violations of human rights in a state of emergency”, defined as violations of “the rules on the protection of the wounded, the sick or the distressed, the treatment of prisoners of war and the protection of the civilian population, which … are to be followed during war, armed conflict or occupation” (Section 4).
In 2004, in a report to Parliament on Finland’s human rights policy, Finland stated:
The principle of individual criminal responsibility is particularly important in situations where it is not possible to implement state responsibility. The measures to put an end to impunity for serious international crimes have therefore become increasingly relevant.
[T]here is still a lack of accountability for violations of international law committed against children in armed conflict. The fight against impunity and assuring the victims’ access to justice are crucial. … Individual responsibility must be upheld and this means that all perpetrators must be held accountable and punished accordingly, regardless of their status or capacity.