Asia as the laboratory of the superior responsibility doctrine
Trials for international crimes in Asia
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2016
This chapter, which examines the development of superior responsibility since the Second World War, shows that the doctrine has largely emerged out of trials convened in Asia and dealing with wars that have taken place in Asia. Beginning with Yamashita, it shows how superior responsibility was extended to civilian leaders at the Tokyo Tribunal, clarified in the subsequent Toyoda trial, and, after the Vietnam War, refined by 1977's Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. More recently, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has applied superior responsibility to former leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Given that the doctrine was announced, refined and crystallised into its current form in Asia, the chapter concludes with some thoughts as to why the region has served as a laboratory for this important idea.