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Ivan Mugabi



The normative principles of criminal law were in some cases founded
upon concepts of individual criminal responsibility for a person’s
unlawful conduct. However under international criminal law the
challenges of individual criminal responsibility may tend to arise from the
effects of the hierarchal based-leadership structures that are used in the
military. The hierarchal based structures are operationalised through a
line of command which enhances maximum obedience to the instructions
issued by military leaders. Disciplinary actions could be used under the
military codes of practice to encourage compliance with the line of
command. Possibly the line of command might be contributing to some
cases of human rights violations. The problems that the line of command
might creat to individual criminal responsibility are dealt with under this
article. Cases where the members of armed forces are instructed by their
superiors to act upon the instructions that are inconsistent with norms of
human right protection are taken into account by this paper. The paper
considers that in other cases those instructions have turned out as;
misleading, misguiding or founded upon misconceived facts that may
result into war crimes or crimes against humanity. This article examines
how the principles of private criminal law have contributed in responding
to the challenges of international criminal law. The article also examines
if these developments have reshaped the ways of pursuing post conflict
justice for the violations of human rights.



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