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Official Gazette

Sunday, September 20, 2020
Penal liability of corporate legal persons for wildlife-related crimes Penal liability of corporate legal persons for wildlife-related crimes
The 2015 Penal Code prescribes heavy fines for corporate legal persons’ crimes violating regulations on management and protection of endangered, precious and rare wild animals, ranging from VND 300 million to VND 15 billion. This shows that Vietnam is always aware of the nature and danger of these crimes to the ecological environment.
Protection of endangered precious and rare wildlife under the 2015 Penal Code Protection of endangered, precious, and rare wildlife under the 2015 Penal Code
Compared to the 1999 version, the 2015 Penal Code’s provisions on protection of wildlife have been significantly revised toward expanding the scope of application of the monetary penalty, increasing penalties and adding some aggravating circumstances. This article analyzes these regulations and proposes a number of recommendations for more effective protection of endangered, precious, and rare wildlife.
Legal framework for enforcement of criminal judgments against businesses Legal framework for enforcement of criminal judgments against businesses
On April 8, 2020, the Government issued Decree 44/2020/ND-CP (Decree 44), prescribing enforcement of judgments against commercial legal persons in a move to detail the 2019 Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments. With this Decree, set to take effect from July, the legal framework for execution of criminal judgments against commercial legal persons has been fundamentally completed, guaranteeing the enforcement of the 2015 Penal Code’s provisions concerning criminal handling of commercial legal persons.
Bringing Vietnams criminal justice system in harmony with the convention against torture Bringing Vietnam’s criminal justice system in harmony with the convention against torture
The 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), one of the nine fundamental conventions on human rights, came into force on June 26, 1987, after being ratified by 20 member states[1]. Vietnam acceded to the UNCAT on November 7, 2013, and ratified it a year later. As a member state to the UNCAT, Vietnam has spared no efforts to build its legal system, particularly criminal justice laws including the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Law on Custody and Temporary Detention, Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments, Law on Organization of Criminal Investigation, etc., in conformity with the UNCAT.
Constitutional provisions on human rights in criminal proceedings should be further concretized Constitutional provisions on human rights in criminal proceedings should be further concretized
Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution (the Constitution) provides for the first time human rights and citizens’ rights in Chapter II with significant progress in the recognition and exercise of these rights as well as specific cases where these rights may be limited.
Inmate labor under the 2019 Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments Inmate labor under the 2019 Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments
In Vietnam, since 1945 the law on execution of imprisonment sentences has always considered labor a fundamental element of the inmate education regime. According to the traditional theory of combined punishment and education, labor is always a duty of inmates. Under the 2015 Penal Code (revised in 2017) (the Penal Code), inmates must serve their imprisonment sentences and work and learn so as to become useful to the society[1]. Compared to other daily activities of inmates, their working activities are to be carried out throughout their sentence serving period and exert important effects on their education and reform results. Through these activities inmates can learn working skills and generate some incomes for their future community integration. That’s why the Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments (the Law) seeks to improve the inmate labor regime primarily for raising the effectiveness of inmate education and reform.
Corporate liability for offenses against the economic management order in Vietnam Corporate liability for offenses against the economic management order in Vietnam
The 2015 Penal Code (revised in 2017) (the Code) is Vietnam’s first and only code that holds commercial legal persons criminally liable for committing criminal acts. This is a breakthrough in the country’s criminal justice policy and leads to a substantial change in the general perception about crime and punishment. It also applies various penalties to commercial legal persons found liable for crimes[1], including three principal penalties (fine, suspension from operation, and termination of operation), three additional penalties (prohibition from doing business or operating in certain areas, prohibition from raising capital, and fine, when not imposed as a principal penalty), and five judicial measures (confiscation of objects and money directly related to the crime; return of property, redress of or compensation for damage; coerced public apology; coerced restoration to the original state; and coerced application of measures to redress and prevent further consequences).
Information technology and telecoms-related crimes under Vietnams Penal Code Information technology and telecoms-related crimes under Vietnam’s Penal Code
In order to have legal grounds to prevent and properly punish increasingly sophisticated crimes related to information technology and telecommunications (ITT) networks, which could cause very serious consequences to socio-economic activities, national defense and security, ITT-related criminal acts need to be prescribed in the Penal Code as well as specialized laws[1]. In the 2015 Penal Code (revised in 2017) (the Code), these acts are grouped into nine crimes in Section 2 of Chapter XXI[2].
Redefining criminal policies against the backdrop of the fourth industrial revolution Redefining criminal policies against the backdrop of the fourth industrial revolution
The fourth industrial revolution has brought about numerous opportunities and posed great challenges[1] to the society in general and criminal justice in particular as there are numerous important fields directly and deeply impacted by this revolution[2]. This requires a fresh perception of criminal policies, including criminalization and decriminalization policies, as well as a new approach in the prevention and combat of newly emerging crimes, which must be based on the Party’s viewpoints and guidelines, the State’s overall socio-economic and international integration policies and regulations[3], historical-traditional conditions and crime prevention and combat practice. The globalization of criminal jurisdiction also requires the State to develop new criminal policies and reorganize the criminal justice system in order to clearly identify, effectively prevent, respond to and combat newly emerging crimes, particularly those against the national security and sovereignty, social order and safety, human and citizens’ rights.
First-instance jurisdiction to try commercial legal persons in Vietnam First-instance jurisdiction to try commercial legal persons in Vietnam
First-instance jurisdiction to hear criminal cases where defendants are commercial legal persons is determined by the reason of the matter involved, the person concerned or the place. This article analyses the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code’s provisions on the penal liability examination procedures and first-instance jurisdiction to try commercial legal persons and propose revisions to Vietnam’s current criminal procedure law in this regard.

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