During the workshop in Hanoi on 27 and 28 February 2019
During the workshop in Hanoi on 27 and 28 February 2019

In cooperation with the Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) and supported by the German Federal Bar (BRAK), the IRZ organised two workshops in Nha Trang on 24 and 25 February and in Hanoi on 26 and 27 February on the practical application of the Vietnamese Code of Criminal Procedure, which came into force in 2018. The IRZ had already provided advice on its drafting during the reform process.

The two IRZ experts and Berlin specialist lawyers for criminal law, Nikolai Venn (Freyschmidt Frings Pananis Venn law firm) and Ursus Koerner von Gustorf (Hensel and Koerner von Gustorf law firm) gave a lecture on both seminar days, covering the following topics:

  • Position and function of the defence counsel;
  • preparation of the main hearing and definition of the defence goal;
  • technical preparation and use of electronic files;
  • the client’s statement on the facts of the case;
  • hearing of witnesses;
  • hearing of experts and
  • final speech of the defence and the prosecution.

Their Vietnamese colleagues gave an overview of their initial experiences with the new Code of Criminal Procedure and its practical implementation (which is in some cases still deficient).

The participants discussed the latest positive developments and praised the major innovations in the course of the reform: the presumption of innocence, the right to inspect the files, and in particular the defence counsel’s right to file a motion to take evidence.

It was repeatedly pointed out that lawyers in their function as agent of the administration of justice play an important role in protecting citizens’ and human rights, and that they have to come up to this moral authority and fight for their rights according to this self-concept. It was said that the presentations of the German experts were very encouraging and showed that the new regulations provide a lot of potential which has to be leveraged now.