The Ascension of Blue Beret Accountability: International Criminal Court Command and Superior Responsibility in Peace Operations

Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 15 3: 533-555

Posted: 27 Jun 2015

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Personnel involved in United Nations (UN) peace operations have been found to commit misconduct, some of which amounts to criminal conduct. The UN has been working to establish a disciplinary system which will prevent and punish any misconduct by peace operation personnel. However, the UN cannot prosecute criminal perpetrators. Criminal jurisdiction can only be enacted by states and the International Criminal Court (ICC). This article seeks to analyse how Article 28 of the Rome Statute of the ICC can be used to prosecute commanders and superiors of a UN peace operation for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The application of Article 28, however, is not straightforward, due to the complexity of the command, authority and control structure of a peace operation. Examination of both military command and civilian superior responsibility is undertaken, including recognition of the cross-over of the roles of military and civilian commanders and superiors in peace operations. While this article argues that prosecution under command and superior responsibility is essential, the complications that may arise with the application of such responsibility are recognized and directions for the prosecutor offered.

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

O'Brien, Melanie, The Ascension of Blue Beret Accountability: International Criminal Court Command and Superior Responsibility in Peace Operations (2010). Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 15 3: 533-555, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2622832

Melanie O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of Western Australia ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

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