The term “commander” means military superiors, whether officially appointed or effectively acting as commanders, who are responsible for the conduct of their subordinates. It includes the entire range of commanders, from high-level strategic leaders down to those non-commissioned members with only a few subordinates under their command.

Military commanders, whatever their rank, are fully responsible for ensuring that the members of their units comply with international humanitarian law. They must therefore ensure that their subordinates are aware of and meet their obligations under that law. It is also the duty of commanders to initiate such steps as are necessary to prevent breaches or grave breaches of international humanitarian law, and where necessary to repress and report them to the competent authorities.

See Command responsibility;


Duty to take precautionary measures before attacks

    PI, 57/2(a)