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Military Trials of War Criminals in the Netherlands East Indies 1946-1949$
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Fred L. Borch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777168.001.0001

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Command Responsibility

Command Responsibility

Prosecutor v. Shoji, Prosecutor v. Maruyama, and Prosecutor v. Imamura and Okazaki

Chapter:
(p.179) 10 Command Responsibility
Source:
Military Trials of War Criminals in the Netherlands East Indies 1946-1949
Author(s):

Fred L. Borch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777168.003.0011

The Dutch prosecuted commanders for the war crimes committed by their subordinates, even though these commanders had not personally participated in the criminal acts and perhaps did not even know that a particular individual under his command had violated the law of war. Such prosecutions were justified by the legal doctrine of “command responsibility,” in which a commander is guilty of a war crime when, having actual or constructive knowledge that his subordinates are committing war crimes, he either fails to prevent these violations of the law of war or else fails to punish the responsible subordinates after learning of their misconduct. The three trials examined in this chapter are important because Generals Maruyama, Imamura, and Okazaki were found not guilty by the temporary court-martial sitting in Batavia, despite sufficient evidence to support guilty verdicts.

Keywords:   command responsibility, war crimes, General Tomoyuki Yamashita, war crimes in the Philippines, General Masao Baba, Australian military tribunal, killing of prisoners of war, war crimes on Java

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