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Official Gazette

Friday, October 7, 2022
Tags: feudal Vietnam
Recruitment of mandarins in feudal Vietnam Recruitment of mandarins in feudal Vietnam
In feudal Vietnam from the 15th to 19th centuries, mandarins were recruited mainly through “nhiem tu”; “khoa cu”; and “tien cu” or “bao cu”. During the Ly and Tran dynasties (1009-1400), nhiem tu was the major method of recruitment, by which various positions in the central and local administrations were assigned to royal family members. This method continued to be used in subsequent periods although it was no longer the major one.
Land-related provisions in Le Dynastys Quoc Trieu Hinh Luat Land-related provisions in Le Dynasty’s “Quoc Trieu Hinh Luat”
Quoc Trieu Hinh Luat (The National Criminal Code) of the Le dynasty (1428-1527) was the culmination of legislative work in feudal Vietnam. With 722 articles arranged in 13 chapters, it dealt with almost all basic social relations then, from criminal, marriage-family, inheritance, contractual, procedural, and land to administrative issues.
Procedural law in Vietnam during the 15th and 19th centuries - historical and contemporary values Procedural law in Vietnam during the 15th and 19th centuries - historical and contemporary values
The procedural law and regulations in Vietnam during the 15th and 19 centuries were prescribed fairly comprehensively and specifically in “Quoc Trieu Hinh Luat” (the National Criminal Code) of the late Le dynasty and “Hoang Viet Luat Le” (the Royal Laws and Regulations of Vietnam) under the Nguyen dynasty. They were also codified into “Quoc Trieu Kham Tung Dieu Le” (the National Procedural Regulations of Royal Dynasties), which was really a distinctive legal phenomenon of the Vietnamese feudal laws.
Family morality in Vietnams feudal laws Family morality in Vietnam’s feudal laws
During the feudal time, Vietnamese family relationships were governed by not only Confucian principles but also fundamental morals, which established a code of conduct among family members and affirmed the rules for family ties. Children were expected to show their filial piety towards parents and grandparents while brothers and sisters to show self-denial and altruism to one another. The harmonious combination of the fundamental morals and Confucian principles among family members has formed the traditional family culture of Vietnamese people. Vietnamese feudal laws institutionalized the traditional morality with specific duties for family members and measures against violations. The values and limitations of Vietnamese feudal laws in this regard have been inherited and abolished in the spirit of ensuring equality, freedom and human rights for women, the elderly and children - the disadvantaged members in families and society.
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.
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.
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.
King Le Thanh Tongs view on state-people relationship King Le Thanh Tong’s view on state-people relationship
History shows that during his 38 year-tenure, Le Thanh Tong tirelessly followed his deep aspiration for a centralized bureaucratic absolute monarchy that guarantees the power and interests of the feudal class represented by the Le dynasty. Immediately after ascending the throne, Le Thanh Tong sped up the introduction of Confucianism into the country on which he developed his conception of ruling the country.

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