A roadmap needed for judicial reform until late 2008: President Triet

State President Nguyen Minh Triet on August 29 asked the Central Steering Board for Judicial Reform to work out a specific roadmap to improve judicial work from now to the end of 2008.

The State President was speaking at the 15th session of the Central Steering Board for Judicial Reform convened in Hanoi on August 28 to discuss the establishment of a national lawyers’ organisation and regional courts in the first instance, the reduction in the number of death penalties, and review the implementation of a Politburo resolution on judicial reform.

President Triet, who is also head of the board, proposed for the increase of budget for judicial reform and providing essential facilities for the local People’s Courts and People’s Procuracies to ensure their efficient operations.

He asked the Supreme People’s Court to study carefully the establishment of regional Courts of First Instance before being submitted for consideration. He also proposed reducing death penalties imposed on drug-related and economic criminals.

He agreed on the scheme to establish the national lawyers organisation and assigned the Ministry of Justice, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Vietnam Lawyers’ Association to prepare for the establishment of the organisation, which will be under the Ministry of Justice. 

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong, who is deputy head of the board, presented a report outlining the judicial sector’s tasks in the remaining months of this year and the next year. Accordingly, priority will be given to finalising the draft law on the execution of court rulings and amendments to some articles of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedures Code.

In addition, the judicial sector will continue to perfect institutions to meet the requirements of its reform, complete judicial support mechanisms, enhance the monitoring of judicial activities and improve the capacity building of the board.

Discussing the establishment of regional courts of first instance, the board stressed the need to finalise the scheme with a detailed roadmap for implementation as it is directly related to amendments to the legal system. Currently, Vietnam’s court system is comprised of the Supreme People’s Court, grassroots-level People’s Courts, and Military Courts. According to the Party Politburo resolution, the court system will see big changes in its organisational structure. Grassroots-level courts will be replaced with regional Courts of First Instance and Courts of Appeals. As a result, once these regional courts are established, Vietnam will amend the Constitution, the Law on Organisation of the People’s Court and the Ordinance on organisation of the Military Court.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong emphasised the need to finalise institutions for judiciary reform, enhance the supervision work of judicial activities and improve the efficiency of the Central Steering Committee’s operations from now until 2008.

The meeting also reviewed the three year implementation of the Politburo’s judicial reform strategy for 2020.