chapter  3
25 Pages

Omission liability in domestic law

WithLenneke Sprik

This chapter addresses the Battalion Commander’s accountability for omissions from a domestic perspective. It outlines the main elements of omission liability, such as the actus reus and mens rea. If the mandate is considered similar to a contract or is at least legally binding, the Battalion Commanders can be considered responsible for the civilians’ wellbeing. Despite the special position held by the Battalion Commanders, acting against serious atrocities being committed may appear unreasonable due to the risk this would pose to the commanders. If the Battalion Commanders had the ability to act, in combination with their specific quality as military commanders, and being mandated to protect, one could indeed question the need to establish a relationship. The causation requirement indicates whether the peacekeeping commanders’ potential liability is linked to the failure to act or to the criminal result. The search for causation is somewhat questionable when it concerns failing to act.