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Official Gazette

Sunday, April 30, 2017
First cash fine imposed instead of imprisonment First cash fine imposed instead of imprisonment
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on March 27 imposed a fine of VND 1.2 billion on Ha Thi Thuy Duong, a former flight attendant of South Korea’s Asiana Airlines, for illegally transporting foreign currency into Vietnam in November 2015.
Jurisdiction of Vietnamese courts to settle civil cases involving foreign elements Jurisdiction of Vietnamese courts to settle civil cases involving foreign elements
This article analyzes new provisions on the jurisdiction of Vietnamese courts to hear civil cases and matters involving foreign elements under the 2015 Civil Procedure Code regarding general jurisdiction, exclusive jurisdiction and cases in which the jurisdiction remains unchanged.
Lenient policy toward juvenile offenders under the new Penal Code Lenient policy toward juvenile offenders under the new Penal Code
Vietnam joined the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on February 28, 1990, and, like other member states of the Convention, it commits to applying every measure, including legislative measure, to secure the rights of the child. Based on the universal standards, the Vietnamese State has institutionalized leniency policies and narrowed the scope of criminal handling of juvenile offenders in the Penal Codes ever enacted in the country, with a view to applying the best handling measures to them.
Territorial effect of the new Penal Code: from the perspective of international law Territorial effect of the new Penal Code: from the perspective of international law
Vietnam’s provisions on territorial effect of the Penal Code have evolved to more align with the international law in general and international criminal law in particular. However, the Code still has no provision that a treaty to which Vietnam is a contracting party prevails if its provisions are different from those of a domestic law on the same field.
How bail is granted under the new Criminal Procedure Code How bail is granted under the new Criminal Procedure Code
As a deterrent measure of high applicability, bail was provided very early in Vietnam’s criminal procedure law (Article 75 of the 1988 Criminal Procedure Code and Article 92 of the 2003 Criminal Procedure Code). However, in practice it has been rarely applied partly due to lack of specific provisions to guide, for example, which types of offense for which offenders may be released on bail in replacement of being detained. In other words, its application is at the discretion of investigating bodies, procuracies and courts. Bail has been denied even for many accused persons and defendants with good pesonal backgrounds, having no criminal records or committing an offense for the first time, having clear addresses of residence, sincerely giving statements, showing repentance or being aged or seriously ill or disabled.
New Criminal Procedure Code better protects juveniles New Criminal Procedure Code better protects juveniles
The 2015 Criminal Procedure Code contains many new provisions on the procedure applicable to persons aged under 18 years, serving as the ground for building a separate juvenile justice system that is humane, friendly, respectful and protective in Vietnam. Apart from these progressive points, the Code still has some shortcomings as pointed out by the author at the end of the article.
Judicial power under 2015 Criminal Procedure Code Judicial power under 2015 Criminal Procedure Code
This writing clarifies the content of the court’s judicial power and the requirement for institutionalizing judicial power in criminal procedure legislation. It then analyzes the new provisions of the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code regarding this issue.
Terrorist crimes in the new Penal Code Terrorist crimes in the new Penal Code
Terrorist crimes have long been mentioned in Vietnam’s criminal law. The first Penal Code enacted in 1985 defined terrorism in Article 78 as a particularly serious crime infringing upon the national security, considering the purpose of opposing the people’s administration a compulsory sign of this crime. The 1999 Penal Code (revised in 2009) changed the title of this crime into terrorism aimed at opposing the people’s administration (Article 230a) while keeping its constituents unchanged, and added the crime of terrorism sponsorship (Article 230b).
Ten progressive developments in the new Criminal Procedure Code Ten progressive developments in the new Criminal Procedure Code
Three Criminal Procedure Codes were promulgated in Vietnam in 1988, 2003 and 2015. The latest Criminal Procedure Code was designed to meet the judicial reform requirements set forth in the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Resolution No. 49-NQ/TW dated June 2, 2005. Compared to the 2003 version, the Code contains 176 new articles and 317 amended articles, retains 17 articles and abolishes 26 articles. Significantly, it introduces many new contents of a modern criminal justice which Vietnam is striving to build.
Mechanism to implement the presumption of innocence principle under the new Criminal Procedure Code Mechanism to implement the presumption of innocence principle under the new Criminal Procedure Code
The 2013 Constitution reaffirms the presumption of innocence principle and at the same time provides a general mechanism for implementing the criminal procedure principles, including presumption of innocence. However, to be enforced, this principle should be specified by the criminal procedure law along with a uniform enforcement mechanism.

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