The deputy chief justice of the Supreme People's Court, Lt Gen Tran Van Do, spoke to Cong an Nhan dan (People's Police) newspaper on a plan to form a Family and Minor Court to deal with cases relating to juveniles.
Why do we need a Family and Minor Court?
The decision to establish the Family and Minor Court is made in response to the increasing number of cases involving children, particularly children who are victims in cases of sex tourism, labour exploitation, family violence and others.
One of the objectives of the court will be to promote and develop protective measures for minors in line with the international law.
According to a report from the Ministry of Justice, an average of 14-16,000 children under 18 years old are in conflict with the law every year.
In the 10 years surveyed between 2001 and 2010, some 10,000 children were victims of sexual abuse, of which the majority were girls under 13 years of age.
Another factor demanding the establishment of the court is the increasing number of divorce cases.
According to the People's Supreme Court, in 2009 alone, nearly 90,000 divorce cases were settled by courts nationwide. In 2010, the figure jumped to 98,000 and the following year it was 115,000.
And above all, the establishment of the court is in response to Politburo Resolution No 49/NQ/TW of June 2005, setting forth a 15-year judicial reform strategy through 2020.
Before the court is established, we have to prepare the human resources, particularly judges and support staff, before the court becomes a reality.
And the establishment of the court must be in line with the existing judicial and administrative reform process.
How will the court be organised?
The Family and Minor Court will not be a "special court," or an independent court system. It sill simply try and settle cases relating to family affairs and juveniles. It will be closely associated with the organisation the present People's Court system nationwide.
How will it operate procedurally?
Each Family and Minor Court will operate under the purview of the Regional People's Courts of First Instance (often the District People's Court) or at the provincial/municipal level.
In the trial of cases relating to family or minor affairs, the People's Court will assign judges specialised in family and juvenile law to preside over such trials.
Cases relating to minors will be heard behind closed doors and in a friendly atmosphere. — VNS