UPDATE: Vietnam Legal Research

 

By Anh Luu

Update by Le Thi Hanh

 

Le Thi Hanh is the Director of the Library and Information Centre, Hanoi Law University, Vietnam. She has a Master of Library and Information Science and a Bachelor of Law. She has been a member of the Vietnamese Library Association since 2006. Le Thi Hanh was awarded the IALL Professional Development Bursary of the International Association of Law Libraries in 2011 to their Annual Course held in Malaysia. She contributed to the "IALL International Handbook of Legal Information Management" published in 2011. She also was the author of the paper "Open access to official and authenticated legal information in Vietnam" that was presented at the 79th IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Singapore 2013.

 

Published February 2017

(Previously updated by Anh Luu in May/June 2008 and in July 2010; and by Le Thi Hanh in May 2013)

See the Archive Version!

 

Table of Contents

1.     Introduction

2.     The Communist Party of Vietnam

3.     National Assembly

4.     Administration

5.     Judicial System

6.     Alternative Dispute Resolution

7.     Legal Profession

8.     Research Resources

 

1.     Introduction

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has a population of 91,71 million [1] on an area of 331.690 square kilometres in Southeast Asia. [2]

 

The Vietnamese originated from several tribes and factions since 2000 BC in the northern mountainous area of modern Viet Nam. The country was under Chinese occupation for more than ten centuries until 938 AD. Since then, Vietnam remained independent until the late 19th century. In 1859, Vietnam fell under French colonization and was then occupied by Japan during World War II. [3]

 

The country declared its independence on September 2, 1945 under the name Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The country carried out the war against the French until 1954 when French forces were defeated in the famous Dien Bien Phu campaign. The Geneva Accord 1954 temporarily divided the country into two parts along the 17th parallel: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north and the Republic of Viet Nam in the south. After twenty-one or more years of war between the north (supported by the communist countries) and the south, with deep military involvement of the U.S. Government including its widespread bombing of the north, in 1975 the north took over. The country was fully reunited and later renamed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. [4]

 

The country carried out economic reform, popularly known as doi moi, since 1986, under which the country diverted from the central planning economy to the market economy.

 

The centre of doi moi was the provision of rural land to the farmer families, liberalization of internal and external trade, recognition of individual property, and permission of foreign investment.[5] Doi moi dramatically changed Vietnam's economy and significantly improved the living standard of its people. Poverty rate dropped from 58% in 1993 to 37% in 1998, 28,9% in 2002 [6] and extremely decreased to 17,2% in 2012.[7] From a rice importer, Vietnam has become the world's second largest rice exporter.

 

Even though Vietnam has been widely praised as a success story of reform, there are concerns about modest foreign direct investment inflows compared to other countries like China, poor rating on corruption and inefficient investment allocation. [8]

 

The shift from a central planning economy where the State made every decision on the allocation of resources to a market economy makes the law indispensable. As a result, Vietnamese legislation development coincided with the development of the country's market economy and most of the legal documents applicable today were promulgated in the early 90s and later. Its legal system is still evolving rapidly and therefore fascinating to observe. However, this also raises concerns over its stability and predictability.

 

The country's adhesion to the World Trade Organisation on 11 January 2007 also puts the country under more pressure for transparency and legal reform.

 

2.     The Communist Party of Vietnam

Even though the Communist Party of Vietnam is a political organization and not part of the State's institutional system, it is essential to be discussed because of its critical role and deep involvement in the political and legal life of Vietnam.

 

Vietnam is a one-party State under the control of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Since the Constitution 1980, the Communist Party of Vietnam has been stated to be "the force leading the State and the society". Just as the wording, the Communist Party of Vietnam has a central role in shaping the country's policy and legal system and maintains a firm control over all the government and social system.[9] Its structure is parallel to the government's structure and has close relation to the government. [10] Its organization is also established in line with the administrative apparatus from central level to provincial, city, district, and communal levels as well as with judicial bodies, schools, enterprises, political, social, professional organizations, army units and police forces. Its influence is reflected through the formation and election of the National Assembly, the operation of the administration, and the function of the judicial system. Article 41 of the Charter of the Communist Party of Vietnam states that "the Party leads the State by its political statements, its strategy, policy and direction, by ideological activities, and through organisation and staff management by supervision and inspection of performance." It introduces people for election or appointment to State official positions and the majority of high-ranking State officials are Party members. The Party also maintains its influence at all levels of the society through its affiliated organizations: Vietnam Fatherland Front, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, Ho Chi Minh Young Volunteer Organization, Vietnam Woman Association, Vietnam Farmer Association just to name a few.

 

The highest authority of the Communist Party of Vietnam is its National Congress, which meets once in every 5 years. The most important overall policy of the Party, and thus the significant changes in the economic and social policy of the country, is set out in its Resolutions. The standing and more influential bodies of the Party are however the Central Committee and the Politburo.

 

The economic reform, doi moi¸ originates from the Resolution of the VIth National Congress in 1986, which recognized for the first time the "multi-sectoral economy." This gave way to the new Constitution 1992, which stated that Vietnam would develop a "multi-component commodity economy functioning in accordance with market mechanisms under the management of the State and following a socialist orientation". The recognition of multi-sectoral economy, more specifically of private ownership, was a significant change from the previous regime under the Constitution 1980, which recognized only ownership by the entire people and by collectives. The new Constitution, 2013 continues completing the socialist0oriented market economic institution and confirming the requirements of building and improving the socialist state rule of law.

 

3.     National Assembly

The Vietnamese government is not structurally based on the theory of the separation of powers. The National Assembly is constitutionally the body of highest power of Vietnam. It exercises the constitutional and legislative power, determines the economic and social policies, domestic and international policies, financial and monetary policies of the country, approves the national budget, and supervises the activities of the President, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, the Government, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Prosecutor, the National Election Council, the State Audit Office, and other agencies established by the National Assembly. [11]

 

The National Assembly elects, releases from duty, removes from office its Chairman, the Vice-Chairmen and members of the Standing Committee, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court and the Head of the Supreme People's Prosecutor. It approves the cabinet at the suggestion by the Prime Minister, the judges of the Supreme People's Court at the suggestion by the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court, the list of members of the National Defence and Security Council at the suggestion by the President, and the list of members of the National Election Council at the suggestion by the Chairperson of the National Election Council.

 

The National Assembly's organizational structure is composed of the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, Standing Committee, Nationality Council and Commissions. It is organized and operates according to the principle of democratic centralism, works according to the conference regime and makes decisions by majority. The term of each legislature is five years.

 

Although having very large constitutional powers, the National Assembly of Vietnam is not necessarily so powerful in practice, nor is its capability up to the requirements to assume such a centralized power. The majority of the deputies of the National Assembly are part-time deputies (of 500 deputies of the 13th National Assembly, only 33% are full-time deputies)[12] who gather to discuss the business of the National Assembly during only two 30-day sessions a year.

 

Between these sessions, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly supervises the activities of the Government, the People's Court and the People's Prosecutor to ensure their conformity to the Constitution and the laws.

 

4.     Administration

 

The Central Government

The Vietnamese Government is the executive body of the National Assembly, and is the highest State administrative agency. The Government exercises the unified management of the performance of the State's political, socio-economic, defense, security and external relation tasks; ensure the effectiveness of the State apparatus from the central to grassroots level; ensure the respect for, and the observance of, the Constitution and laws; promote the people's mastery in the cause of building and defending the Fatherland, thus ensuring stability and improving the people's material and spiritual lives.

 

The Government's organizational structure is composed of the Ministries and the Ministry-equivalent bodies, which are established by the decision of the National Assembly at the suggestion of the Prime Minister.

 

The Government is composed of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers, the Ministers and the Heads of the Ministry-equivalent bodies. The term of the Government corresponds to the term of the National Assembly is five years. [13]

 

A comprehensive list of Ministries and Ministry-equivalent authorities is available on the website of the Vietnamese government.

 

Partly due to the limited capacity of the National Assembly, the Ministries have important influence on Vietnamese legislation. See the section on Legal System.

 

Local Government

Vietnam is organized into 63 provinces, which are subdivided into districts. Below districts are communes. A list of the 63 provinces with links to the website of each provincial government is available on the website of the Vietnamese government.

 

There are four levels of local government; they are provinces, districts, communes and special administrative-economic zones. Each of these four levels has their own local government consisting of a representative body elected by the local people every five years named the People's Council and the administrative body named the People's Committee, whose members are elected by the People's Council. [14]

 

5.     Judicial System

 

Court System

Vietnam has a two-tier court system, including courts of first instances and courts of appeal. The judgments are then susceptible to further reviews under special circumstances. The court system consists of the Supreme People's Court, the High-level People's Court, the provincial People's Courts, the district People's Courts and the Military Courts.

 

There are specialised courts at High-level People's Court and at the provincial People's Courts. These include the Criminal Court, Civil Court, Economic Court, Administrative Court, Labour Court and Family and juvenile Court. The district People's Courts may have Criminal Court, Civil Court, Family and juvenile Court and administrative handling Court.

 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court is elected by the National Assembly, and has the term corresponding to the term of the National Assembly and can be re-elected. Other Justices of the Supreme People's Court are appointed and removable by the President and have the term of 5 years. The Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court appoints and removes judges of the inferior courts. [15]

 

Under the law, Vietnamese courts render their judgments independently. However, there are still many concerns on the independence of the courts.

 

The tribunal panels at the first instance are composed of both judges and people's jurors (usually one judge and two people's jurors). People's jurors at each level are lay people elected by the People's Council of the same level at the recommendation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and could be re-elected. [16] The participation of these jurors who are not qualified legal experts and who are elected, re-elected and removable by the local governments raises questions on their capability and on the influence of the local governments on the court's activities.

 

The Law in 2014 [17] centralized the power to appoint judges to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court instead of the local People's Council (as previously the case). The budget of the local courts, previously decided by the provincial Departments of Justice, is now decided by the National Assembly. This intends to make the local courts more independent from the local government.

 

Another factor leading to the concerns on the independence of the courts is the unwritten practice of local courts requesting for opinions from the superior courts in complex cases. [18] Judgments in Vietnam are not publicly published and it is difficult to get access to past judgments.

 

The government is carrying out a judicial reform program, which hopes to improve the operation of the courts. [19] The country is also pressed for changes under the commitments made in its adhesion to the World Trade Organisation.

 

People's Prosecutor

The People's Prosecutor has the mandate of public prosecution and judicial supervision. Similarly, in the structure of the court, the People's Prosecutor is organized into four levels: The Supreme People's Prosecutor, the High-level People's Prosecutor, the provincial People's Prosecutor and the district People's Prosecutor. In addition to People's Prosecutor, there is the Military Prosecutor.

 

The whole system of People's Prosecutor and Military Prosecutor is under management and instruction of the Supreme People's Prosecutor. The Chairman of the Supreme People's Prosecutor is elected by the National Assembly at the proposal of the State President, and has the term corresponding to the term of the National Assembly and can be re-elected. The Vice-Chairmen of the Supreme People's Prosecutor and its prosecutors are appointed, removed from office and dismissed by the State President at the proposal of the Chairman of the Supreme People's Prosecutor. The Directors, Deputy-Directors and prosecutors of the local People's Prosecutor and the Military Prosecutor are appointed, removed from office and dismissed by the Chairman of the Supreme People's Prosecutor.[20]

 

In criminal cases, the People's Prosecutor carries out the public prosecution role. In non-criminal cases, the People's Prosecutor supervises the resolution of the cases and has the prerogative to participate in any part of judicial proceedings except for the conciliation process. [21] Usually, it reviews the file, hears evidence and arguments and makes recommendation to the tribunal panel. [22]

 

In addition, the People's Prosecutor supervises the enforcement of the judgments

 

6.    Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

Mediation

Culturally, Vietnam is not a litigious society. Large amounts of disputes are resolved outside of court. According to the reports of 63 provinces, since 1999 to March 2012, there are 3,488,144 cases were mediated successfully per 4,358,662 requested cases with the percentage was 80%. By the year 2014, there are 121,251 groups of mediation with 628,530 mediators in the whole country. [23]

 

Vietnamese laws also highly emphasize the role of mediation. Mediation is a mandatory part of certain litigation procedures such as civil litigations, labour and marriage and family litigations. The State encourages the resolution of civil and family disputes and violations of the law, which do not amount to criminal offences, administrative violations and other disputes and violations prescribed by the Law on Civil procedure by means of mediation. At the local community, groups of non-professional mediators are set up to carry out this mediation mandate. [24]

 

Arbitration

Arbitration is a possible alternative for dispute resolution in Vietnam but restricted to commercial disputes only. Arbitration was not a popular dispute resolution means in Vietnam due to weak enforceability.

 

The Law on Commercial Arbitration adopted in 2010 attempted to improve the effectiveness and enforceability of arbitration, arbitral awards and decisions in Vietnam. Under the Law 2010, arbitration award given by a Vietnamese arbitration tribunal is automatically enforceable, i.e. the parties no longer have to seek a decision of the court for the execution of the arbitral award. [25] The most well- known Vietnamese arbitration organization is the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industries. By the year of 2013, there are 7 Arbitration Centres in the whole country. [26] Three years follow, this number was double to 14 in 2016. [27]

 

Vietnam is a member of the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

 

As part of Vietnam's judicial reform, it is expected that arbitration will be used more widely in civil disputes and not restricted to commercial disputes.

 

Legal System

The hierarchy of Vietnamese legal texts is as follows: [28]

 

Authority

Text

National Assembly

Constitution, Law, Resolution

Standing Committee of the National Assembly

Ordinance, Resolution, Joint Resolution (issued collectively by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and the President Board of the Central Committee of Vietnam Fatherland Front

President

Order, Decision

Government

Decree

Prime Minister

Decision

Justice Council of the Supreme People's Court

Resolution

Ministers and head of ministry-level bodies, Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court, Head of the Supreme People's Prosecutor

Circular, Joint Circular (issued collectively by different ministries 0r by or by a ministry and a political and social organisation)

General State Auditor

Decision

People's Council

Resolution

People's Committee

Decision

 

Legal texts are published on the Official Gazette.

 

Vietnam's legal system is fast evolving and the legislation work has significantly improved. In line with the increasing number of legal texts, the Official Gazette increased its publications from two issues per month in 1995 to daily in 2004. The number of laws and other legal texts also increases rapidly. From early 2003, [29] legal texts must be published in the Official Gazette as a compulsory condition for becoming effective. This compulsory publication is a great improvement compared to the previous situation where most legal texts became effective 15 days after the date of signature and not all legal texts were published. The dynamism and transparency of the legal system, as a result, were improved significantly.

 

Legal texts are searchable free of charge online through the web portal of the National Assembly, the Government, ministries, governmental agencies, 63 provinces, courts and prosecutors. Publication of legal information on websites is also regulated under the law. [30]

 

Despite these significant improvements, Vietnamese legislative work is still weak resulting in the legal system being inadequate and unstable. One of the reasons explaining this shortcoming is the function of the National Assembly. The National Assembly does not consist of professional and specialized legislators. Its members are working people gathering only during two 30-day sessions per year. Its mandate of approving the country's economic and social development plans, financial and monetary policies, the national budget, as well as questioning the Government's activities takes up a large amount of time, leaving a modest agenda to legal debate and approval of laws. On the other hand, its legislation workload increased tremendously under the country's commitment under the 2000 U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement and under the commitments in its adhesion to the World Trade Organization. Most of laws are passed after one or two sessions of debate by the National Assembly. [31] Vietnam's first Competition Law, as a typical example, was given four days of debate before being passed into Law in November 2004. The input of the National Assembly on the country's laws is therefore still limited.

 

In practice, the real legislators are the administrators, particularly the Ministries. A set of rules on a specific issue in Vietnam typically includes: (i) a law drafted by a relevant Ministry, consented first by the Government, then approved by the National Assembly; (ii) an implementing Decree drafted by that Ministry and issued by the Government; and (iii) an implementing Circular issued by the same Ministry. Adding to this, a significant number of parliamentarians are administration officials. This has important effects on the National Assembly's decision. Laws are usually drafted in such general terms that they are not enforceable without the implementing decrees and circulars.

 

This legislation process magnifies the power of the executives, conferring on them the unwritten power to interpret law. Constitutionally, this is in the power of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. In the absence of a specialized and effective supervisor of the constitutionality and legality of legal documents, interpretation of the executive bodies sometimes results in a de facto amendment to the law.

 

Jurisprudence is not recognized as a source of law and is not part of the legal system. However, as a matter of practice, every year, the Supreme People's Court produces a collection of typical cases with comments and instructions. These treatises are relied on heavily by the inferior courts. Parts of these documents are accessible through the website of the Supreme People's Court. [32]

 

There is no formal process of codification in Vietnamese law. In certain important areas where the law issued by the National Assembly is relatively comprehensive and complete, the name "Code" is used. To date, following are the major codes: The Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code, the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Labour Code, and the Maritime Code.

 

Informal compilation of legal texts in specific areas are carried out and published by different publishing houses. The most reliable source is the National Political Publishing House, which publishes a wide range of legal texts and compilations of legal texts. The National Political Publishing House operates under the Communist Party of Vietnam. It has been assigned by the Politburo the mandate of publishing political and legal publications. [33]

 

7.     Legal Profession

The legal profession in Vietnam is regulated by the Ministry of Justice and the bar associations set up in each province. Practicing law in Vietnam requires a certificate of law practice issued by the Ministry of Justice and admission to the bar association at the place of residence of the lawyer. The relevant bar association will issue Lawyer Licence to its members.

 

The Vietnam Lawyers Federation, a nationwide lawyers' association, was established in 2009 to regulate the profession on a national level. [34] The local bar associations are members of the federation.

 

Like the Vietnamese legal system, the growth of the legal profession in Vietnam was greatly influenced by the demand of economic growth and of the country's open policy. Before the promulgation of the Ordinance on Lawyers in 2001, admission to the bars was at the discretion of each bar association and was thus very difficult and in some provinces impossible. The Ordinance makes the admission to the bar a matter of rights as long as the applicant satisfies the requirements provided by law. This, together with the rapid economic growth in the last few years, has helped increase the number of lawyers rapidly. From 369 lawyers in 1991, the number of lawyers has increased to 2,100 in 2001, 5,000 in 2007 [35] and more than 7,200 in 2012, [36] and 8,928 in 2015. [37] The number, experience and exposure of Vietnamese lawyers are however still modest. The Vietnamese government is putting effort in improving the experience and competence of its lawyers, seeing this essential in the country's integration into the global economy.

 

The legal profession has also witnessed liberalisation recently as one of the commitments under the services schedule made by the Vietnamese government in its adhesion to the World Trade Organisation. With the adoption of the Law on Lawyers in 2006, amended in 2012, foreign law firms in Vietnam can now advise Vietnamese laws and have the audience of Vietnamese courts through their employed Vietnamese lawyers. Before the 2006 Law, Vietnamese lawyers employed by foreign law firms were not allowed to appear in courts and before the 2001 Ordinance, foreign law firms in Vietnam were not allowed to employ Vietnamese lawyers or advise on Vietnamese laws at all.

 

The lack in number of lawyers is explained by the non-litigious nature of the Vietnamese society, the stage of development of the Vietnamese legal system, the lack of competence of the court and the limited involvement that Vietnamese lawyers are allowed in the litigation process. With the ongoing judicial reform, the involvement of lawyers in litigation procedure has recently become subject to great debate, which has resulted in improvement of the role of the profession in recent years.

 

8.    Research Resources

The research resources on the Vietnamese legal system are still limited. Following are some useful resources.


[1] Source: Statistical Yearbook of Vietnam 2015 at https://gso.gov.vn/default.aspx?tabid=512&idmid=5&ItemID=16051 (visited 22 September 2016. March 2013.

[2] Source: The Vietnamese Government Portal (last visited February 13, 2017).

[3] UN’s Briefing Report for Vietnam on June 2004 at http://www.undp.org.vn/undp/docs/2004/briefing04/briefing04.pdf, visited 22 March 2006.

[4] Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator Vietnam, Briefing Report for Vietnam (June 20014), available at https://web.archive.org/web/20060416083936/http://www.undp.org.vn/undp/docs/2004/briefing04/briefing04.pdf (URL provided by Internet Archives).

[5] Jordan D. Ryan & Jens C. Wandel, Vietnam’s Reform Experience – the Quest for Stability during Transition (May 1999), available at https://web.archive.org/web/20000926003347/http://www.undp.org.vn/undp/docs/1996/reform/eng/index.htm (URL provided by Internet Archives).

[6] Country Report: 15 years achieving Viet Nam Millennium Development Goals, at  http://www.vn.undp.org/content/vietnam/vi/home/library/mdg/country-report-mdg-2015.html, visited October 27 2016.

[7] Press Release: Soico-Economic Situation in2012, to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, at http://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=508&ItemID=13500, visited 16 March 2013.

[8] David O. Dapice, Vietnam’s Economy: Success Story or Weird Dualism? A SWOT Analysis, June 2003.

[9] Brian J.M. Quinn, Legal reform and its context in Vietnam, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Spring 2002.

[10] Article 10 of the Charter of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

[11] Law on the organization of the National Assembly dated 20 November 2014.

[12] Source: website of Center for Training of Elected Representatives, which operates under the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, at www.ttbd.gov.vn, visited 16 March 2013.

[13] Law on organization of the Government dated 19 Une 2015.

[14] Law on the organization of the Local Government dated 19 June 2015.

[15] Law on the organization of the People’s Courts dated 24 November 2014.

[16] Ordinance of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly dated 4 October 2002 on People’s Judges and People’s Jurors.

[17] Law on the organization of the People’s Courts dated 24 November 2014.

[18] Brian J.M. Quinn, Legal reform and its context in Vietnam, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Spring 2002.

[19] Resolution 49-NQ/TW of the Politburo dated 2 June 2006 on the strategy for judicial reform toward 2020.

[20] Law on organization of the People’s Procuracies, dated on 24 November 2014.

[21] Brian J.M. Quinn, Legal reform and its context in Vietnam, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Spring 2002.

[22] Brian J.M. Quinn, Legal reform and its context in Vietnam, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Spring 2002.

[23] Source: the web portal of Binh Thuan Province, at http://www.binhthuan.gov.vn/wps/portal/binhthuan/congdan/tintuc/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gfDxcLQ2MDQ0933yBXA0cLowAfR_MQI3dDE_2CbEdFAL9WmyY!/?PC_7_LHD81301IGMRE0A82PLA7T2GP2_WCM_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/bt_vi/bt_noi_dung/tin_tuc/thong_tin_tuyen_truyen/e11c0c80438c534684d185089f1f8e8f&cur_id=e11c0c80438c534684d185089f1f8e8f, visited on 27 October 2016.

[24] Law on mediation at the local communities dated 20 June 2013.

[25] Law on Commercial Arbitration dated 17 June 2010.

[26] See SBLaw, Arbitration at http://www.sblaw.vn/tag/arbitration/; Hogan Lovells, Arbitration in Vietnam: An Introduction (October 2013), at http://www.hoganlovells.com/files/Uploads/Documents/13.10_Hogan%20Lovells%20-%20Arbitration%20in%20Vietnam.pdf. .

[27] Source: Website of the Ministry of Justice at http://moj.gov.vn/en/Pages/home.aspx (last visited February 13, 2017).

[28] Law on the promulgation of Legal Documents dated 22 June 2015.

[29] When the amended Law on the issuance of legal texts was effective.

[30] Law on Law Dissemination and Education, dated on 2 July 2012.

[31] Article 45 of the Law on the issuance of legal texts dated 12 November 1996, as amended on 16 December 2002.

[32] Source: Website of the Supreme People's Court, at http://toaan.gov.vn/portal/page/portal/tandtc, visited 23 March 2013.

[33] Decision 68-QD/TW of the Politburo dated 3 April 2003 (published on the website of the National Political Publishing House, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20110612013500/http://www.nxbctqg.org.vn/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=5&id=64&Itemid=30 (URL provided by Internet Archives).

[34] Decision of the Prime Minister dated 16 January 2008 approving the plan to establish a nationwide organisation of lawyers.

[35] Lawyers in the time of global integration – opportunities and challenges, Tran Ngoc Dinh, published in Legal Profession, compiled and edited by Nguyen Ba Binh, Judicial Publishing House, 2007.

[36] Source from the Ministry of Justice: The proposal to the Government of the project of Law Amending and Supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Lawyers dated on 16 March 2012.

[37] Source: Tien Phong Electronic Newspaper, at http://www.tienphong.vn/phap-luat/viet-nam-co-bao-nhieu-luat-su-849781.tpo. Visited on 14 November 2016.