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Legal System in Vietnam


Vietnam, a member of the United Nations as from 30.09.1977, belongs to the socialist legal system. There are many similarities to the laws of former socialist countries, esp. the former Soviet Union and the former GDR. Still, some French influence also remains due to a long colonial period from the 19th into the mid 20th century. From the end of the 80ies the Vietnamese legal system has undergone important changes following the country's economic reform. Within only a few years, the National Assembly enacted several laws and codes replacing decrees being the only legal basis for a long period. One important purport of the legislation in Vietnam is to cope with international standards in order to promote international transactions from and into Vietnam.         


Constitution &  Administration

The leading role of the Communist Party is stated in Article 4 of the Constitution. According to the Constitution has Vietnam a parliamentary system. The National Assembly is the highest legislative power and the supreme organ of power of the country. The legislation period of the National Assembly lasts 5 years. The National Assembly appoints the head of State, the President, and the Vice-President. The highest administrative organ is the Government as executive organ of the National Assembly. The Government is composed of the Prime Minister, the Vice Prime Ministers, Ministers and other members. There are currently 26 ministries and offices, which are directly subordinate to the government.


 The People's Courts are organized into Criminal, Civil, Labour, Economic and Administrative Divisions. In addition to the normal and military courts, the National Assembly may establish extraordinary courts. The People's Courts are organized into four levels. In the lower level, the People's District Courts are in charge for economic, civil, family, labour and administrative disputes as well as for minor criminal cases. In the upper level, People's Provincial or City Courts are in charge for appeals against decisions of the lower level's courts. They are also first instance courts in economic, civil  and administrative disputes depending on the specific cases as well as serious criminal cases. The High Courts are in charge for appeals against as well as revisions and cassations of decisions of the lower level's courts. At the highest level, the People's Supreme Court is responsible for the uniform application of laws in Vietnam.