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Official Gazette

Monday, May 10, 2021

Revised Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents

Updated: 08:58’ - 15/02/2021
Effective on January 1 this year, the Law Revising a Number of Articles of the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents (the revised Law) aims to improve the legal framework on promulgation of legal documents to further raise the quality and efficiency of lawmaking work, effectively serving the national development in the period of national industrialization and modernization and intensive international integration. It also helps enhance the responsibilities of each agency and raise the efficiency of coordination among agencies in the process of formulation and promulgation of legal documents, especially in the course of accepting opinions and revising draft laws and ordinances.

The revised Law amends 68 articles of the 2015 Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents (the 2015 Law) with some major amendments mentioned below.

Clarifying provisions on social criticism on draft legal documents by the Vietnam Fatherland Front 

Currently, social criticism and order and procedures for making of social criticism on draft legal documents by the Vietnam Fatherland Front are regulated by the 2015 Law on the Vietnam Fatherland Front and Joint Resolution 403 of 2017 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Government and Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, as they are not yet provided in the 2015 Law.

To ensure the consistency of the legal system, the revised Law amends and supplements Article 6 of the 2015 Law to provide social criticism by the Vietnam Fatherland Front in the formulation and promulgation of legal documents. Specifically, social criticism will be made during the period agencies, organizations or National Assembly deputies in charge of drafting legal documents collect opinions on the drafts. For draft legal documents for which social criticism has been made, a dossier of a draft legal document sent for appraisal or verification or submitted to competent agencies must comprise the social criticism paper. Agencies in charge of drafting legal documents have to study, explain and accept critical opinions on draft legal documents in the process of revising the drafts.

Two new types of legal documents

The revised Law adds two more types of legal documents to the system of legal documents specified in Article 4
of the 2015 Law, including:

(i) Joint resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Government and Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front. These joint resolutions will prescribe in detail issues assigned by a law or guide a number of necessary issues in the election of deputies to the National Assembly and People’s Councils; and,
(ii) Joint circulars of the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, State Auditor General, ministers, and heads of ministerial-level agencies. These joint circulars will regulate the coordination of the above agencies in the implementation of legal proceedings and in corruption prevention and control.

Notably, the revised Law says that no joint circular of ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies will be promulgated.

So, the system of legal documents includes:

- The Constitution;

- Codes, laws and resolutions of the National Assembly;

- Ordinances and resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly; joint resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front; joint resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Government, and Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front;

- Orders and decisions of the President;

- Decrees of the Government; joint resolutions of the Government and Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front;

- Decisions of the Prime Minister;

- Resolutions of the Judicial Council of the Supreme People’s Court;

- Circulars of the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court; circulars of the Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy; circulars of ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies; decisions of the State Auditor General; 

- Joint circulars of the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, State Auditor General, ministers, and heads of ministerial-level agencies; 

- Resolutions of provincial-, district- or commune-level People’s Councils; 

- Decisions of provincial-, district- or commune-level People’s Committees; and,

- Legal documents of local administrations in special administrative-economic units.

Formulation and promulgation of legal documents according to simplified order and procedures

According to the amended Article 146, cases of formulation and promulgation of legal documents according to the simplified order and procedures include: (i) cases of emergency as prescribed by the law on state of emergency; urgent response to disasters, epidemics, fires and explosions; urgent situations for solving arising problems; (ii) suspension of the effect of a legal document in whole or in part in order to promptly protect interests of the State or lawful rights and interests of organizations and individuals; (iii) prompt revision of a legal document to conform with a new legal document; (iv) prompt promulgation of a legal document in order to implement a relevant treaty to which Vietnam is a contracting party; (v) annulment of part or the whole of a legal document which is contrary to law or no longer appropriate to the socio-economic development situation; and (vi) extension of the implementation of the whole or part of a legal document for a certain period in order to solve arising urgent problems. Of these, cases (iv), (v) and (vi) are newly added.

 The revised Law amends and supplements provisions on the competence of the Prime Minister to decide to apply the simplified order and procedures with regard to circulars of ministers or heads of ministerial-level agencies in urgent situations for solving arising problems. It also vests ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and State Auditor General with the competence to decide to apply the simplified order and procedures to legal documents they promulgate in cases (ii) and (v) above.

Regarding the order for consideration and approval of legal documents according to the simplified order and procedures, the revised Law adds a provision stating that ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Procurator General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and State Auditor General shall consider and sign legal documents right after receiving their drafts according to the law-prescribed order.

Effective dates of legal documents

The effective date of the whole or part of a legal document will be specified in such document which, however, must not be sooner than 45 days, 10 days, or seven days from the date it is approved or signed for promulgation, for legal documents promulgated by central-level state agencies, provincial-level People’s Councils or People’s Committees, or district- or commune-level People’s Councils or People’s Committees, respectively.

A legal document promulgated according to the simplified order and procedures may take effect on the date it is approved or signed for promulgation. It must be immediately posted on the portal of the promulgating agency and notified in the mass media. Such legal document must be published on the Cong bao (Official Gazette) of Vietnam or Cong bao of the concerned province or centrally run city within three days after it is announced or signed for promulgation, or after it is approved or signed for promulgation, for legal documents of central-level state agencies or provincial-level People’s Councils or People’s Committees, respectively.- (VLLF)

 

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