By mid-September 2014, 11,285 Vietnamese lawyers had been issued law practice certificates by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and 9,231 lawyers had been granted lawyer cards by the Vietnam Bar Federation.
These figures were released from a
conference discussing the implementation of the amended Law on Lawyers which was held
by the MOJ in Hanoi early this month.
Lawyer acts as a defense counsel at court__Photo: Internet
Nearly 200 new law-practicing organizations have been established so far this year, raising the total number of law-practicing organizations nationwide to 3,408, including 2,322 lawyers’ offices and 1,086 law firms.
In the first nine months of 2014, the MOJ has granted some 30 practice licenses to foreign lawyers and 10 branch establishment licenses to foreign law firms. There are now 397 foreign lawyers and 67 foreign law-practicing organizations licensed to practice law in the country.
Over the recent years, these lawyers have provided legal defense for defendants in all criminal and civil cases at the request of procedure-conducting agencies. More and more Vietnamese citizens have asked for defense by lawyers in criminal hearings.
However, local procedure-conducting agencies remain reluctant, for some reasons, to invite lawyers to participate in proceedings, said Chairman of Son La province’s Bar Association Dinh Xuan My.
He added that in cases where defendants were minors or mentally ill persons, local procedure-conducting agencies would invite teachers of these minors or cadres of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, instead of professional lawyers as required by law, to act as defense counsels.
Nguyen Van Ha from Ha Lan lawyer office raised concerns about lawyer remuneration in cases where defense counsels were appointed. In practice, few courts have paid lawyer remuneration and only through complicated procedures. He proposed that procedure-conducting agencies consider transferring these remuneration amounts to the Vietnam Bar Federation or local Bar Associations after the participation of lawyers in such cases is confirmed.-