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First Legal Policy Dialogue in 2013: “Criminal Laws of Viet Nam in the Context of International Integration”

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vnlawHa Noi, 29 August 2013 – “Criminal Laws of Viet Nam in the Context of International Integration” is the topic of this year’s first Legal Policy Dialogue held today by the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Programme.

This Legal Policy Dialogue, within the framework of the "Strengthening Access to Justice and Protection of Rights in Viet Nam” project between the Government of Viet Nam and UNDP, will focus on the key substantive contents of Viet Nam’s criminal legal policy as well as the needs for reform arising from international integration.

Deputy Minister of Justice Mr Hoang The Lien and UNDP Country Director Ms Louise Chamberlain will co-chair the dialogue, along with the attendance of National Assembly Judicial Commitee Chairman Mr Nguyen Van Hien. A number of high-profile representatives will attend the Dialogue, including those from the Steering Committee for Judicial Reform, Office of the Central Commitee of the Party, Judicial Committee of the National Assembly, Law Committee of the National Assembly, Office of the National Assembly, Viet Nam Lawyers' Association, Viet Nam Bar Federation, People's Courts, People's Procuracies, international donors and legal experts.
    
At the Dialogue, a Ministry of Justice representative will introduce a report on the implementation status of the Criminal Code 1999 and amendments to meet international integration requirements, while a National Assembly Judicial Committee representative will provide key input on the Vietnamese criminal law and requirements on criminalisation of actions as provided for in the UNCAC.  The Dialogue will also witness a Supreme People's Procuracy Representative introduce input on the completion of criminal policy on juvenile justice as well as requirements to incorporatate the UN Convention on Child's Rights into domestic laws and regulations along with a Ministry of Public Security representative outlining the completion of the criminal policy and requirements to incorporate the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Protocol on Fighting against Human Traficking.

Together with Vietnamese legal experts, representatives of UNDP, UNICEF and UNODC offered comments and provided information on international comparative experiences on the above-mentioned topics to be discussed at the Dialogue.

In a speech to the Dialogue, Mr Hoang The Lien said: "Viet Nam is deeply and broadly integrating, regionally and internationally. This process has new requirements for the renovation of the legal system and criminal laws. Running parallel to globalization is emerging and increasingly new organized and trans-national crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism, money laundering and their impact on Viet Nam. Accordingly, beside internal requirements to fight against such crimes, the Penal Code should be amended in accordance with the approach of meeting international standards, creating a favorable legal basis for prevention and fighting against crimes, especially trans-national crimes, in the process of international integration".     

Ms Louise Chamberlain praised the Ministry of Justice for their very proactive approach in preparing for revisions of the Criminal Code in Viet Nam. "The UN in Viet Nam has supported the Ministry of Justice and other justice institutions in this important process to ensure the reform of the criminal justice system is optimizing its effectiveness and respecting human and civil rights in Viet Nam," said Ms Chamberlain.

The 1999 Penal Code was adopted by the 10th National Assembly in 1999 and came into effect on July 1, 2000. The Penal Code is one of the effective legal instruments in social management and the prevention and fighting of crime significantly contributing to the political and social security of Viet Nam and protection of the interests of Vietnamese citizens. Given Viet Nam’s rapid socio-economic growth and international integration, the Penal Code after 12 years of enforcement and implementation needs to be amended and supplemented to combat emerging crimes and be compatible with international treaties Viet Nam is a party to, such as UN Convention against Corruption, Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Convention on the Rights of the of Child.

The Legal Policy Dialogue, conducted since 2011, has become a significant forum for Government of Viet Nam representatives and international development counterparts to discuss key issues and the emerging needs of legal and judicial reform in Viet Nam./.

For further information, please contact:

Department of International Relations, Ministry of Justice, Tel: (84-4) 62739531
or
UNDP Office in Hanoi, Tel: (84-4) 8224383 x121

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