General Assembly Resolution # 458
A resolution to improve world security by boosting police and military budgets.
Category: International Security
Proposed by: Separatist Peoples
Shamelessly commending the now sizable body of law intended to regulate conduct during armed conflict for the benefit of all;
Troubled that there yet exist entities that would rather ignore atrocities for their own benefit rather than act upon their moral and legal duty to prevent atrocities actively;
Appalled that there are so few protections for those subordinates ethically trapped between the duty to obey orders and the duty to obey the law; and
Avowing that commanders who permit atrocities are in such wanton dereliction of their duties as to have acquiesced to their subordinates heinous acts, and thus have besmirched the honor and privilege of command;
The World Assembly hereby enacts the following:
Article I. Commander Duties
A commander is an individual with either de jure authority to control the conduct of members of an armed force, be it regular military, militia, irregular, or other form of paramilitary force, or de facto control of the same.
Commanders have an affirmative duty to prevent or punish their subordinates for violating World Assembly law regulating conduct during armed conflict.
Commanders are criminally liable for:
ordering any act in knowing contravention of World Assembly law regarding conduct during armed conflict, or
failing to take necessary action to prevent or punish subordinate violations of World Assembly law regarding conduct during armed conflict where the commander knows or has information that allows them to conclude that their subordinates were about to or had contravened those World Assembly laws.
No member state may permit a commander to retain any command after a court martial determines their dereliction of the above duties, notwithstanding other criminal penalties.
Nothing in this article precludes member states from independently enforcing higher military conduct standards for commanders.
Article II. Subordinate Rights and Duties
A subordinate has an affirmative duty to refuse any order from any commander that is manifestly illegal under World Assembly law.
A subordinate who complies with a commanders reasonable interpretation of an arguable question of World Assembly law regarding conduct during armed conflict is not criminally liable for contravening that law, unless there is sufficient evidence that the subordinate knew or should have known that the order was unlawful.
A subordinate who relies in good faith on a commanders incorrect or misleading knowledge of a situation or other facts may raise that reliance as a partial or total defense against their contravention of World Assembly law regarding conduct during armed conflict, unless there is sufficient evidence that the subordinate knew or should have known the actual facts of the situation. Prior failures of military intelligence or situational awareness alone do not constitute sufficient evidence.
No member state may penalize subordinates who refuse, in good faith, to obey an order of uncertain legality under World Assembly law regulating conduct during armed conflict, even if the order is legal in hindsight. Member states will take all prudent steps to treat evidence or investigations of a subordinate's lawful refusal under this Article as privileged information, and may not include it in a subordinate's service record.
Article III. Member State Duties
Member states must routinely train and educate their military personnel about their rights and obligations under World Assembly law regarding military action.
Member states must interpret the language of this resolution liberally where necessary to effectuate the policy goals of holding commanders and soldiers accountable for their actions and disincentivizing culpability in war crimes.
Nothing in this resolution bars the World Assembly from defining the parameters of command responsibility for different violations of World Assembly law, provided those parameters further the goals of accountability for violation and incentives to obey international law.