Vietnam - annual report 2013

Länderbericht Vietnam 2013Delegation from the Supreme People’s Court visiting the Federal Court of Justice on a study trip on court organisation

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

The IRZ is one of the institutions involved in the rule of law dialogue which is maintained between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In this framework, another working programme planned to last three years was adopted in 2012, from which the IRZ is carrying out a large number of measures. This includes refining civil and civil procedure law, criminal and criminal procedure law and the judiciary, as well as providing support in the implementation of international conventions and guidelines. What is more, the IRZ has accompanied constitutional reform in Vietnam by providing consultation and, promoted by the Federal Foreign Office, has offered events on the topic of human rights. In view of the ongoing reforms aiming at economic liberalisation, there is still considerable interest in cooperation with Germany in almost all fields of law. This frequently relates to long-term advice services for extensive legislative projects. Since considerable shortcomings in the effective implementation of new provisions can be observed in Vietnam in practice, the activities as a rule also involve the basic and further training of the specific legal practitioners.

Cooperation to date

The IRZ has provided consultation on key legislative projects in the course of cooperation with Vietnam, which has now been in operation for four years, for instance to the Ministry of Justice in the context of the reform of the Civil Code or to the Supreme People's Prosecution Office in the reform the Code of Criminal Procedure. Moreover, the IRZ regularly implements measures on topics associated with the administration of justice, as well as on the administration of the judiciary and its organisation. Human rights protection has also been the subject of advice since 2012.

Major partners

  • Ministry of Justice
  • Judicial Academy
  • Supreme People's Prosecution Office
  • Supreme People's Court
  • Institute for Human Rights

Strategy and method

Democracy and the rule of law are still under development in Vietnam. The IRZ is making efforts in many ways to support Vietnam in its rule-oflaw development, and in doing so follows on from the previously established, trust-based relations with various institutions in the judiciary. In commercial terms, Vietnam continues to show economic growth, and would like to complete its transition towards a market economy-based political system. Here, the IRZ is accompanying the Ministry of Justice through consultation in important civil law reform projects. The objective is to satisfy the prerequisites for creating basic foundations for the rule of law such as predictability and legal certainty through a Civil Code to provide a basis for all legal relations under private law. More recent societal developments moreover require regulations to be introduced. In criminal procedure law, there is above all a lack of knowledge among criminal defence lawyers and a lack of a basis for a fair trial. The IRZ's measures therefore focus on seminars and study visits on criminal procedure law and related topics. In relation to constitutional law and human rights questions, the IRZ was able to take up the topical discussion on constitutional reform in Vietnam in 2013 and to intensify the dialogue with the Vietnamese partners in the area of enforcement and recognition of fundamental and human rights. The partner organisation here is the Vietnamese Institute for Human Rights, which is affiliated with the National Academy of Politics and Public Administration in Ho Chi Minh City.

Foci of activity

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Seminar on the topic of "Mechanisms for human rights and citizen rights protection" in cooperation with the Vietnamese Institute for Human Rights and with the promotion of the Federal Foreign Office

Civil and commercial law

  • Several workshops with working parties of the Ministry of Justice on the reform of the Civil Code on the topics General Part, property law and the law on obligations, with speakers from the Federal Ministry of Justice and from courts
  • Continuation of the consultation on the law on registration of secured transactions with the Ministry of Justice
  • Workshop on the reform of family law on the topics of marriage, nonmarital communities, life partnerships, property law, surrogacy, etc., with speakers from the Federal Ministry of Justice
  • Drawing up of a manual for civil law as a reference for legal practitioners in cooperation with the Judicial Academy

Administration of justice

  • Consultation on the reform of the professional law of notaries with the topics of admission, qualification, structure of notary's offices, establishment of professional associations and the like for the Ministry of Justice
  • Study visit to Germany by the Judicial Academy in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice on the law on notaries
  • Study visit to Berlin on the topic of "The foundation, system and structure of the German bailiff system" with specialist discussions at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, at the School of Economics and Law, at a bailiff's office, as well as with a representative of the German Association of Bailiffs
  • Study visit to Berlin and Karlsruhe for members of the Supreme People's Court, including the presiding judge, on the topics of "The judicial system and court organisation in Germany" and "Mediation" Criminal law and the law on the prison system
  • Study visit by a ten-person Vietnamese delegation led by a Vice Minister of Justice to the Federal Office of Justice in Bonn on the topic of "Modernisation of the Federal criminal register system"
  • Moot Court with Vietnamese legal experts on criminal procedure law in cooperation with the Judicial Academy and the Vietnamese Bar
  • Workshop on criminal procedure law in Hanoi with the Supreme People's Prosecution Office


The IRZ will continue to implement projects from the German-Vietnamese rule of law dialogue in 2014. In the area of civil law, the IRZ will continue providing consultation on the reform of the Civil Code. The focus here will be on the basic and further training of practitioners from all legal fields. Furthermore, activities on protection of human rights in Vietnam are planned, with funds from the Federal Foreign Office. The Vietnamese Institute for Human Rights has shown itself to be an interested, reliable partner here, and has repeatedly shown that there is a willingness to engage in an objective and open dialogue on the topic of human rights protection and constitutional law. The IRZ will follow on from the measures that have been implemented so far, and will expand the successful dialogue with all its cooperation partners in Vietnam.