Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

15 - Command Responsibility

from Part VI - Other Forms of Responsibility


Command responsibility, as a modern doctrine of criminal law, originates in the atrocities committed by members of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines between 9 October 1944 and 2 September 1945. That the atrocities – starvation, execution, rape and burning of homes – violated the laws of war is uncontroversial. More controversial, and of enduring doctrinal interest, was the potential individual responsibility of General Yamashita, Commanding General of the Imperial Army’s Fourteenth Group prior to his surrender to US forces.