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Official Gazette

Sunday, September 20, 2020
Legislative process under the Nguyen dynasty Legislative process under the Nguyen dynasty
Vietnam’s feudal state under the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1884) attached great importance to legislative work with a coherent and logical process from the drafting and transfer of legal documents, management and use of official seals, organization of archive work to the training and employment of paperwork staff. The Nguyen dynasty’s due attention to the drafting of legal documents contributed to the development of a strong public administration, serving as the basis for the attainment of significant achievements in various aspects of the country’s social life in this period. This also offered valuable lessons on the importance of the human factor, the clear definition of duties of each responsible individual, and the role of inspection and supervision in the process of formulating and promulgating legal documents, for today’s lawmaking work in Vietnam.
Rural management by state laws and village conventions under the Nguyen dynasty Rural management by state laws and village conventions under the Nguyen dynasty
The Nguyen dynasty (1802-1884) managed the society by law through the administrations at different levels. Besides, the Nguyen kings were also fully aware that for villages and communes, village conventions played an important role as manifested in the popular saying “Phep vua thua le lang” (the king’s laws comes after the village’s customs). Village customs were customary practices in daily life and production upheld and orally passed from generation to generation by villagers while village conventions were customs and practices documented in paper or carved in stone or wood. The village customs and practices defined in village conventions were specific norms in various aspects of social life to be voluntarily followed by all community members. The state sought ways to use village conventions as a means to enforce state laws in social life. This helped establish the relationship between state laws and village conventions as well as customs, that of complementation, contradiction and conflict.
Principles of state power through various constitutions Principles of state power through various constitutions
In the regime of democracy and socialist rule of law, the state power is delegated by the people, which must, therefore, be inevitably controlled. The state power is often documented by constitutional provisions to define the mandates and rights of the legislative power, executive power and judicial power. The recognition and development of the principles of power delegation, coordination and control between legislative and executive bodies through various constitutions are linked with the historical contexts of the nation in each particular period.
Measures to supervise six ministries under the Nguyen Dynasty Measures to supervise six ministries under the Nguyen Dynasty
During more than 1,000 years of domination by northern feudalists, the Vietnamese feudal state was established after the state model of feudal China, from state institutions, ruling method, organizational system to mandarin titles. Following the reform initiated by King Le Thanh Tong (1442-1497), the state apparatus of feudal Vietnam was further developed with “luc bo” (six ministries) being key state agencies and the backbone of the central administration.
Mandarin recruitment under the Ly Dynasty Mandarin recruitment under the Ly Dynasty
The mandarin recruitment during the Ly dynasty was conducted mainly in three ways: “tuyen cu” (nomination-based recruitment), “nhiem tu” (recruitment of mandarins’ offspring) and “khoa cu” (examination-based recruitment). In addition, a new way was also used, that was “nop tien” (money payment). In his book titled “Lich trieu hien chuong loai chi” (Regulations of Successive Dynasties), historian Phan Huy Chu wrote: “Under the Ly dynasty, when examinations for public office were not regularly organized yet, the recruitment of mandarins was implemented primarily through nomination-based recruitment, recruitment from mandarins’ offspring and money payment.”[1]
King Le Thanh Tong with the defense of national territory King Le Thanh Tong with the defense of national territory
King Le Thanh Tong (1442-1497) recorded great merits in protecting the country’s territorial integrity, expanding the national frontiers and protecting the national sovereignty over land, sea and island borders. The Hong Duc Code in the king’s era appeared to be the most complete and progressive code of the Vietnamese feudal states, containing numerous articles on the defense of national territory.
The oversight system in the feudal period of Vietnam The oversight system in the feudal period of Vietnam
In order to guarantee the king’s unified power, Vietnamese feudal regimes created and operated consistently a state power-overseeing mechanism with two systems: intra-state and extra-state. This writing only dwells on the system overseeing the operation of the state management apparatus from inside.
King Le Thanh Tong and the building of the contingent of mandarins King Le Thanh Tong and the building of the contingent of mandarins
Le Thanh Tong ascended the throne in 1460 when he was 18 years old and died when he was 56. He was considered the most talented ruler in feudal Vietnam as assessed by “Dai Viet Su Ky toan thu” (the Complete Book of the Historical Record of Great Viet): “The King founded a strong state, expanded the territory and brought prosperity to the nation; he was truly a talented, heroic ruler who could be compared to Yu Ti of the Han dynasty and Taizong of the Tang dynasty.”
Administrative divisions in feudal Vietnam Administrative divisions in feudal Vietnam
In the historical process, the successive Vietnamese feudal states achieved steps of development in the way of organizing administrative divisions in the country to meet the requirements of social life and national defense. This writing dwells on the formation of administrative divisions in Vietnam from the Dinh dynasty onward and some lessons for the building of a law-ruled state at present.
Development process of Vietnamese law on reservations to treaties Development process of Vietnamese law on reservations to treaties
Recently, the number of Vietnam’s reservations to treaties has risen together with the number of treaties to which Vietnam has acceded. This reality requires Vietnam’s legal system in general and law on treaties in particular be completed in the direction of protecting to the utmost Vietnam’s interests without violating the concluded treaties.

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