Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1990) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits, inter alia
, one of the offences listed under the following headings: “Violation of policy concerning soldiers killed or wounded in combat” (Article 271); “Theft or destruction of war booty” (Article 272); “Harassment of civilians” (Article 273); “Exceeding military need in performance of a mission” (Article 274); “Mistreatment of a prisoner of war or of a soldier who has surrendered” (Article 275); “Crimes against humanity” committed in time of peace or in time of war (Article 278); “War crimes”, such as “acts seriously breaching international norms contained in the treaties to which Viet Nam is a party” (Article 279); and “Recruitment of mercenaries and service as a mercenary” (Article 280).
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999), in its chapter on “Crimes infringing upon the duties and responsibilities of army personnel”, states:
Army personnel on active service, reserve army personnel in the period of concentrated training, citizens requisitioned for service in the army, militiamen, self-defence personnel detached to army units in combat, combat service, shall bear penal liability for the offences they commit as provided for in this Chapter.
The offences listed in that chapter include those listed under the following headings: “Concealing offences [including war crimes]” (Article 313); “Failing to denounce crimes [including war crimes]” (Article 314); “Violating policies towards war-wounded and/or war-dead during combat” (Article 336); “Appropriating or destroying war trophies” (Article 337); “Harassing civilians” (Article 338); “Abusing military demands while performing duties” (Article 339); “Ill-treating prisoners of war and/or enemy deserters” (Article 340); “Crimes against humanity” committed in time of peace or in time of war (Article 342); “War crimes”, such as “acts in serious violation of international laws or international treaties which Viet Nam has signed or acceded to” (Article 343); and “Recruiting mercenaries or working as mercenaries” (Article 344).