Following its September issue, Vietnam Law & Legal Forum this month publishes for public comment an extract on Improvement of the Socialist State Ruled by Law in the draft Political Report to be presented at the upcoming XIIth National Party Congress.
The viewpoints and institutions on the socialist state ruled by law have been supplemented and improved one fundamental and important step forward. Public understanding about building a socialist state ruled by law of the people, by the people and for the people has increased. The 2013 Constitution asserts that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the country where the People are the masters; all the state power belongs to the People and is based on the alliance of the working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, Chairman of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, addresses the talk to contribute opinions to the draft documents of the XIIth National Party Congress __Photo: Nguyen Dan/VNA
The principles of organizing the state power have been provided more completely in the 2013 Constitution: The state power is unified and delegated to state agencies which coordinate with and control one another in the exercise of the legislative, executive and judicial powers
The functions, tasks, organizational apparatus and operation mechanism of the state apparatus have been defined more clearly and important progresses have been recorded in its activities. The role of law in the organization and operation of the State and management of the society has been upheld. Mechanisms for delegation, coordination and control of power in the organization and operation of the State have been established more clearly and implemented with certain achievements.
The National Assembly has significantly renewed its activities and increased its operation quality. The legal system has been further improved. The National Assembly has focused its oversight on the most important and pressing issues of the country. The quality of debate and decision on socio-economic development plans, state budget estimates and national key projects and works has been improved. The Standing Committee, the Ethnic Council and various Committees of the National Assembly have substantially renewed their work contents and methods. Responsibilities of National Assembly deputies have been raised.
Macro administration and management by the Government and ministries have been more active in resolving major and important matters. Importance has been further attached to administrative reforms which have achieved initial positive results. Reform on organization of local administrations, which is non-organization of district-level People’s Councils on a trial basis, has been directed and reviewed to draw experiences.
Many of the Party’s policies on judicial reform have been institutionalized in the Constitution and law and implemented properly with significant results. The organizational structures of People’s Courts and People’s Procuracies and judicial assistance agencies have been further strengthened. The operation quality of these institutions has been improved as lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals have been better protected and injustices reduced.
Nevertheless, mechanisms for delegation, coordination and control of the state power at various levels have not been determined clearly, synchronously and effectively. The organizational apparatuses and operation mechanisms of key institutions in the apparatus of the socialist state ruled by law, including the National Assembly, the President, the Government, and the judicial system, remain inappropriate, ineffective and inefficient in certain aspects. Overlaps and problems in the functions and tasks of institutions which affect the unified state power and operation effectiveness of the State have not been addressed. The legal system remains overlapping and inconsistent with many regulations unsuitable for building a state ruled by law. The legal system’s publicity, transparency, enforceability and stability remain limited. Discipline in state management and civil duty performance is still lax.
Administrative reforms remain slow and uncoordinated, failing to meet requirements. Administrative procedures are still complicated and inconvenient, thus barring the formation of a healthy, transparent and effective social environment and business environment for development. Renewal of the organization and operation of local administrations remains slow with low effect and effectiveness in many localities. Democracy, jurisdiction and accountability of local administrations at various levels have not been defined clearly. The performance of some judicial reform tasks is still slow. There remain harassment, negative practices, injustices, overdue cases and omission of crimes. The prevention and control of corruption and waste in state agencies and among officials and civil servants, which remain serious, have failed to meet requirements.
The above shortcomings and weaknesses can be largely attributed to the causes that the building of a socialist state ruled by law is new for our country; separation of the leadership of the Party from the management and administration of the State has not been clearly determined in some aspects; and the method and mechanism of the Party leadership over the State at various levels have not been clearly instutionalized and failed to adhere to the principles of a socialist state ruled by law.
Orientations and tasks
To continue regarding the building of a socialist state ruled by law and led by the Party as the focal task of the renewal of the political system
In the organization and operation of the State, to ensure democracy and adherence to the law-based principles to create positive changes and achieve better results. Building a state ruled by law must be legislatively, executively and judicially synchronous and be done together with economic renewal.
To improve institutions, functions, tasks, methods and mechanism of operation and raise the effect and effectiveness of the socialist state ruled by law
To complete the functions, tasks, powers and organization of the State in accordance with the 2013 Constitution to meet the requirements of a socialist state ruled by law in the context of development of a socialist-oriented market economy and international integration. The State will be further organized and operate in accordance with, and manage the society by, the Constitution and law, and adhere to the democratic centralism principle. To determine more clearly the role, and complete mechanisms to better deal with the State-market relation.
To lead the making, improvement and implementation of the legal system according to the principles enshrined in the 2013 Constitution. To guarantee that law is an instrument for the State to manage the society and concurrently an instrument for the people to examine and supervise the state power. To manage the country by law and concurrently attach importance to building the social moral foundations.
To clearly determine the mechanism for delegation and coordination in realization of the state power, particularly the mechanism to control powers among state agencies in the exercise of the legislative, executive and judicial powers on the basis of unified state power; to determine more clearly the powers and responsibilities in each of these powers. To concurrently provide more clearly the mechanism for coordination in the exercise and control of power at administrations of all levels. To further define the powers and responsibilities of central and local agencies and of local administrations at each level.
To improve the organization, quality and effectiveness of the operation of the state apparatus
To renew the organization and operation of the National Assembly, ensuring that the National Assembly is truly the highest representative organ of the people and the highest state power organ. The National Assembly will properly perform its legislative function, decide on important issues for the country and conduct supreme oversight, particularly for the management and use of national resources.
To well organize the implementation of the Law on Election of Deputies to the National Assembly and Deputies to People’s Councils, ensuring the structure and raising the quality of deputies and reasonably increasing the number of full-time deputies.
To improve mechanisms to raise the quality and effectiveness of activities, particularly legislative activities, of the National Assembly and its deputies, mechanisms for supervision and assessment of holders of posts elected or approved by the National Assembly. To better the connection between the oversight by the National Assembly and examination and supervision by the Party, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, socio-political organizations and the public.
To complete the organizational structure of the Government, defining more clearly the functions, tasks and powers of the Government as the highest state administrative body exercising the executive power and being the executive body of the National Assembly.
To speed up the implementation of the state administrative reform program toward building a democratic, advanced, professional, dynamic, effective and efficient administration serving the people. To improve institutions of a democratic administration ruled by law, to define responsibilities and mechanisms for accountability of state agencies; to drastically streamline and remove cumbersome administrative procedures. To promote civil-duty responsibilities and ethics of cadres and civil servants; to push ahead the application of an e-government.
To continue to implement the judicial reform strategy, build a clean, strong, democratic and strict rule-based judicial system which protects justice, human rights, citizens’ rights, the socialist regime, the State’s interests, and lawful rights and interests of agencies, organizations and individuals. To clearly separate the administrative management power from judicial responsibilities and power in the organization and operation of justice agencies.
To organize the system of courts based on their jurisdiction; to guarantee independence and adversarial principle in trial, to guarantee the right to defense of the accused, defendants and involved parties.
People’s Procuracies will exercise the power to prosecute and supervise judicial activities and be organized corresponding to the organizational system of People’s Courts; to increase responsibilities of prosecutors in investigation activities.
To strengthen investigation agencies, clearly defining their functions, tasks, powers, and raising their operation quality and effectiveness.
To improve the quality and effectiveness of activities of lawyers and judicial support organizations.
Regarding local administrations: On the basis of guaranteeing consistency, smoothness, effect and effectiveness of the national administration, to clearly define the state management power and responsibilities of local administrations at each level. The improvement of the functions, tasks and organizational apparatus of local administrations will be closely associated with the renewal of the organization and operation mechanism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front committees and socio-political organizations at all levels. To complete the model of organization of local administrations suitable to characteristics of rural, urban and island areas and special administrative-economic units in accordance with law.
To attach importance to developing the contingent of cadres and civil servants
The Party will focus its leadership on setting directions and guidelines and developing specific standards, criteria, mechanisms and policies. To enhance democracy in personnel work, and clearly define responsibilities and powers of each organization and each level in the building of the contingent of cadres and civil servants with political qualities and professional qualifications and capacity meeting requirements of the renewal period. To pilot the people’s direct election of officials at grassroots and district levels; to broaden eligible examinees for recruitment of managerial personnel. To complete the set of assessment criteria and mechanisms for examination, supervision and control of the performance of civil duties; to clearly define the powers and responsibilities of heads of administrative agencies.
To review and revise entitlement policies to encourage cadres and civil servants to improve their professional qualifications and skills and civil duty ethics and fulfill their tasks; to end the egalitarianist treatment of cadres and civil servants.
To step up the prevention and control of corruption and waste and practice thrift in state agencies and among cadres and civil servants.- (VLLF)