The obscene business which is war has many rules. Command responsibility, also now called the Yamashita Principle, is that obligation of all commanders to ensure their troops fight within those rules. 

Failure to do so is considered an omission mode of individual criminal responsibility. Further WWII war crimes trials remarked, inter alia, “failure to properly supervise subordinates constitutes criminal negligence on a commander’s part” based upon “a wanton, immoral disregard of the action of subordinates amounting to acquiescence.” 

Summarised, these trials found command responsibility ended at the most senior level in all circumstances. 

Even though MAJGEN Paul Brereton has prepared a report into alleged irregularities by Australian forces in Afghanistan, no individual has been charged and no courts convened. CDF Angus Campbell has moved to strip senior officers of awards for service in Afghanistan, before they have had the opportunity to address allegations of misconduct. 

This contravenes the basic principle Australian law, civil and military, presumed innocence until formally proven otherwise before a properly constituted court.