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Official Gazette

Thursday, February 23, 2017
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.
Death penalty in Vietnams new Penal Code Death penalty in Vietnam’s new Penal Code
Although retaining the death penalty for many offenses, the Penal Code establishes more stringent conditions for imposition of this penalty to ensure individualized punishment and reduce death sentences.
Unjust convictions minimized in past five years: reports Unjust convictions minimized in past five years: reports
Heads of the court, procuracy and audit sectors presented their five-year work reports at the 11th session of the XIIIth National Assembly, reviewing positive changes and limitations in their performance.
Economic crimes in new Penal Code Economic crimes in new Penal Code
With 46 articles compared to 35 articles in the 1999 Penal Code, Chapter XVIII on crimes of infringing upon the economic management order is one of the much amended chapters of the 2015 Penal Code. Its amendments aim to implement the judicial reform on criminalizing socially dangerous acts that newly emerge in the socio-economic development and international integration process.

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