ICC Mandate Does Not Allow For Pen Sovann’s Complaint

In the article “Pen Sovann Plans ICC Complaint Against Vietnam,” (January 10-11), it is reported that lawmaker Pen Sovann plans to file a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Vietnam for the ouster of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

Mr. Sovann is a lawmaker who ignores the law. It is well-known that the mandate of the ICC is to try individuals rather than states or governments, and that the ICC only has jurisdiction for crimes that took place after July 1, 2002—two legal criteria that make Mr. Sovann’s complaint invalid.

Raoul Marc Jennar, author

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