The concept that it is individual persons, not organizations or
abstract entities that commit and should bear legal responsibility for
crimes. A person’s criminal behaviour cannot be excused simply because
they were acting at the behest of, or on behalf of an organization
that employed them when they committed the crime (for example, a
soldier, police officer, government official, party official).
Individual criminal responsibility may attach in two ways: direct and
indirect. The person who is the perpetrator of a crime bears direct
individual criminal responsibility; this includes both the person who
physically commits the crime and the person who orders, incites or is
in some other way complicit in it. In addition, a direct perpetrator
may also bear indirect individual criminal responsibility for the
crimes of his subordinates if s/he failed to prevent or punish the
crime but was in a position to do so. See Article 25 of the Rome
Statute of the ICC and Article 6 of the Statute of the Special Court
for Sierra Leone.