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Lawmakers discuss reforms to National Assembly, judiciary

Update: March, 24/2012 - 09:28

HA NOI — Top lawmakers yesterday discussed measures to reform and enhance the quality and effectiveness of National Assembly activities.

Talks included the prospect of casting votes of confidence for all positions assigned or approved on.

Under a plan proposed by the National Assembly's (NA) Standing Committee, the State President, Prime Minister, NA Chairman and their deputies, would undergo the vote. All members of the standing committee, Governmental cabinet, the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court, the Chief Auditor of the State Audit Office of Viet Nam would also be included in such procedures.

Those who could not earn more than half the votes from deputies twice consecutively would undergo consideration by the NA for resignation or dismissal. Voting results would be publicised.

"The vote of confidence falls under the Resolution of the Communist Party of the Viet Nam Central Committee's fourth session on urgent issues in Party building," said Chairman of the NA Office Nguyen Hanh Phuc.

The plan has drawn lots of controversial discussions.

Chairwoman of the NA Committee for Deputies' Affairs Nguyen Thi Nuong argued that the "positions assigned or approved by the NA" included not only the aforementioned.

"There will be a lot of positions, including the secretariat," she said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Phan Xuan Dung was more cautious about the plan.

"It needs lots of consideration before the implementation," he said.

Members also discussed reforms in lawmaking activities, the organisation of NA meetings and deputies' meetings with voters.

Regarding the organisation of NA meetings, the plan proposed two options.

In the first proposal, there would be two meeting sessions a year. Each session would be held in 20-25 days, which is shorter than the current 30-35 days. One part of work would be discussed regularly between the two sessions for full-time deputies to be in charge.

The other proposed three sessions a year, in which, the first one, scheduled in March, would concentrate on law making activities and urgent social issues. The two others would discuss and decide on socio-economic issues and other regular content, scheduled to be held in the first half of July and November.

Listening to discussions, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung suggested an online form of meeting, which still ensured the contents while the time could be shortened.

"Some activities can be deducted such as the distribution and reading of e-documents to some 500 deputies, which is normally done in the meeting hall," Hung said, "The online meeting can be done for papers which are presented for the first time. The discussion and vote for approval will still be conducted at the hall."

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung asked all members of the standing committee to continue contributing to the plan for the next meeting session, which is scheduled to start on April 10.

More local judges

At yesterday's session, the NA's Standing Committee agreed on an additional 1,713 full-time staff members at local people's courts for the period of 2012-13, while the full-time staff of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) and military courts at all levels remained the same.

According to the SPC's report, by September 2011, the total full-time staff of local people's courts was 12,118, including nearly 4,900 judges.

"In comparison to the number assigned by the NA's Standing Committee in 2009, local courts still lack 684 full-time staff," said the SPC's Deputy Chief Justice Tran Van Tu.

Tu explained that reasons for the shortage included the increasing number of cases that were under charge of local people's courts.

"Every year, cases increase by 15 to 20 per cent, causing overload for local courts and shortage of local judges," he said.

Tu also took the newly established people's courts and the need of staff eligible for hi-tech tasks as other reasons for the shortage.

The NA's Standing Committee also asked the SPC to review the sector's full-time staff and to carry out reforms to meet demand.

The SPC was further asked to have better staff allocation in different regions. — VNS

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