Leiden Journal of International Law


Imputed Criminal Liability and the Goals of International Justice


Article author query
darcy s   [Google Scholar] 


This article considers the suitability of employing particular modes of imputed criminal liability in trials before international criminal tribunals. It focuses specifically on the doctrines of joint criminal enterprise and superior responsibility, two forms of liability which are central to many contemporary international criminal proceedings. Both doctrines can involve a broad form of criminal liability which may not be entirely appropriate when one considers the context in which such trials take place and the significance which often attaches to them. Proponents of international justice have contended that the contribution of these trials goes beyond basic accountability and providing justice for victims, extending also to peacemaking, reconciliation, deterrence, and the creation of a historical record. This article queries whether aspects of joint criminal enterprise liability and superior responsibility are appropriate when international justice is viewed in this light.

Key Words: command responsibility; criminal liability; international criminal tribunals; joint criminal enterprise.


1 Lecturer, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster. The author would like to thank Catherine Turner, Eugene MacNamee, and Phil Clark for their comments on an earlier draft.