Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

Is a “following orders” defence viable? Revisiting the Nuremberg defence in the wake of Haspel’s confirmation

01 June 2018

Is a “following orders” defence viable? Revisiting the Nuremberg defence in the wake of Haspel’s confirmation Brandon Fox and Alice Kim

The CIA’s newest director claimed she was only following orders when she oversaw the CIA’s use of torture and the CIA’s destruction of evidence. Her “following orders” defence worked: she was never disciplined, and she was recently confirmed by the US Senate as the CIA’s director. But would this defence work for others facing criminal charges? What steps should organisations take when their employees claim a following orders defence? Brandon D Fox and Alice S Kim at Jenner & Block explore the defence’s potential perils and pitfalls.