chapter  8
6 Pages


WithLenneke Sprik

Holding the Dutch and Belgian peacekeeping commanders accountable for their inaction in the face of atrocities being committed turns out to be as difficult as establishing responsibility for an active contribution to the crimes. Omission and bystander liability establish a connection with the criminal result principally committed by someone else, whereas command responsibility establishes responsibility for the commander’s failure to prevent or punish conduct committed by a subordinate. The social responsibility for the wellbeing of individuals based on law or contract is quite common in domestic law on omissions, but less so in international law. In the absence of a functional host state, the peacekeeping mission may be required to protect and guarantee at least the non-derogable human-rights norms, which places the commander in a situation similar to occupation. With the emerging point of view that individuals should be recognised as actors in international law, the role of individual peacekeepers and peacekeeping commanders should be on the agenda.