On 21 March 2016 Trial Chamber iii of the International Criminal Court unanimously convicted the former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, on the basis of the doctrine of command responsibility for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by troops under his command in the Central African Republic from 2002 to 2003. On 8 June 2018 however, the Appeals Chamber reversed the judgment and acquitted Bemba of all charges. The Appeals Chamber held that the Trial Chamber erred in finding that Bemba failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent and repress crimes committed by his subordinates as contemplated in Article 28(a)(ii) of the Rome Statute. This article evaluates the meaning of “all necessary and reasonable measures” in the context of command responsibility and considers whether Bemba met this threshold in order to avoid incurring criminal responsibility under Article 28(a)(ii).
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