Knowledge of subordinates' conduct

Notion(s) Filing Case
Appeal Judgement - 03.07.2008 ORIĆ Naser

58. The Prosecution submits that, in the context of crimes such as those at issue which occur in a prison setting, knowledge of the crimes and knowledge of the subordinates’ criminal conduct “are one and the same.”[1] It argues that “[a]s soon as Orić knew or had reason to know that prisoners were being mistreated and killed, he must also be considered to have known that his subordinates in charge of the prisoners were criminally responsible for that mistreatment.”[2]

59. The Appeals Chamber stresses that knowledge of a crime and knowledge of a person’s criminal conduct are, in law and in fact, distinct matters. Although the latter may, depending on the circumstances, be inferred from the former, the Appeals Chamber notes that such an inference was not made by the Trial Chamber.[3] Its enquiry was limited to Orić’s knowledge or reason to know of the crimes committed in the detention facilities, and so was its conclusion. Therefore, the Appeals Chamber need not consider the Prosecution’s assertion that Orić knew or had reason to know of the crimes themselves.[4]

[1] AT. 1 April 2008, p. 22.

[2] Prosecution Written Submissions of 25 March 2008, para. 19. See also  ibid., para. 18; AT. 1 April 2008, pp. 23-24; AT. 2 April 2008, pp. 192-193.

[3] Regarding the possibility of making such an inference in the circumstances of the case, the Appeals Chamber refers to its analysis of the Prosecution’s appeal, infra paras. 172-174.

[4] See AT. 1 April 2008, pp. 19-22, 24-25. 

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