Colombia: Two Workshops on Command Responsibility

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Workshop facilitator welcomes the event participants.

CMN convenes workshops on Command Responsibility and Commission by Omission for prosecutors, judiciary, civil society and academia in Bogotà

Between 04 – 06 November the Case Matrix Network convened two workshops on Command Responsibility and Commission by Omission, with support from the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. Held under the Chatham House rule, a High Level Seminar brought together national and international speakers, and more than 30 participants including senior specialized prosecutors from the Fiscalía General de la Nación (Attorney General’s Office/ AGO), othersenior officials, and magistrates. A second workshop brought together government representatives, civil society and academia and was also held under the Chatham House rule. In both events, participants had the opportunity to

Presentations covered issues including:

  • The concept of most responsible persons in international law and policy (Emilie Hunter, CMN Deputy Director);
  • Command responsibility and omission liabilities in national laws in Latin America (Javier Dondé, Professor of Criminal Law at the Institute of Criminal Science of Mexico);
  • The status of command responsibility in Colombian law and practice (Federico Andreu, representative for the International Commission of Jurists);
  • Analysis of command responsibility in international criminal law and the legal requirements of command responsibility (Olympia Bekou, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Nottingham);
  • Key evidentiary challenges and methods in establishing command responsibility

Public officials, lawyers and academics attending tackled the topics through engaged and detailed analysis and observations on the applicability and scope of both forms of liability, demonstrating a deeper understanding of command responsibility under international criminal law, as well as progress and challenges in attributing liability to military commanders at the domestic level.

Additionally, participants were provided with a copy of the draft version of the CMN Guidelines on Command Responsibility, which includes a detailed overview of the legal classifications of Command Responsibility under international laws and its application before international criminal tribunals. This includes quotations from international (ised) criminal tribunals and courts as well as publicists´ commentaries on the material and mental elements of Command Responsibility, according to the legal requirements of Command Responsibility under Art.28 (a) of the Rome Statute.

The two events built on sustained research led by Professor Alejandro Aponte on Colombian liabilities including commission by omission as well as by Jorge Moncaleano, on the status and applicability of the Colombian Constitutional ‘Block’ and command responsibility.


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