Practice Relating to Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes
Viet Nam’s Criminal Code (2015), which includes, inter alia, war crimes, states:
Chapter XXV INFRINGEMENTS UPON DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SERVICEMEN AND COOPERATORS WITH THE ARMY IN WARTIME
Article 392. People having criminal responsibility for infringement upon duties and responsibilities of servicemen
1. Servicemen, military workers and employees.
2. Reserve servicemen during training period.
3. Militia members [cooperating] with the army in wartime
4. Citizens recruited to the army.
Article 393. Giving orders against the law
1. Any person who abuses his/her position to give order[s] against the law and as a result causes serious consequences shall face a penalty of up to 03 years’ community [service] or 06–60 months’ imprisonment.
2. This offence committed in any of the following cases shall carry a penalty of 03–10 years’ imprisonment:
a) The offence is committed in battle;
b) The offence is committed in a warzone;
c) The offence is committed during a rescue mission;
d) The offence is committed in time of emergency;
dd) The offence results in very serious consequences.
3. If the offence results in extremely serious consequences or in other extremely serious cases, the offender shall face a penalty of 07–15 years’ imprisonment.
DISRUPTION OF PEACE, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, AND WAR CRIMES
Article 423. War crimes
1. Any person in wartime who orders or directly commits the murder of civilians, wounded people, or prisoner[s] of war; pillages; destroys residential areas; uses banned war instruments or methods[;] or commits other acts that seriously violate international law or an international agreement to which [the] Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory shall face a penalty of 10–20 years’ imprisonment, life imprisonment, or death[.]
2. [If t]his offence is committed under pressure or order[s] given by superior officers, the offender shall face a penalty of 10–20 years’ imprisonment.