|Viet Nam has been reviewing the compatibility of national legislative provisions with the UN Convention against transnational organised crime (UNTOC) in order to better implement the convention.—File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam has been reviewing the compatibility of national legislative provisions with the UN Convention against transnational organised crime (UNTOC) in order to better implement the convention.
In 2012, Viet Nam ratified the UNTOC, the only global international convention relating to organised crime. It seeks to address all aspects of transnational organised crime and constitutes an effective tool as well as necessary legal framework for international co-operation in preventing and combating all forms of transnational organised crime.
Adopted in 2000, the convention has so far been ratified by 178 states.
Speaking at a workshop yesterday held by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and Ministry of Justice, Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa, director of the ministry's Criminal and Administrative Laws Department, said that with the support of UNODC, the ministry and Supreme People's Court had conducted an assessment of the legal framework, including the 1999 Penal Code and 2003 Criminal Procedure Code.
"The assessment aims to identify gaps and provide recommendations for improving the country's legal framework to meet the obligations and requirements of the convention," she said.
Last April, Viet Nam's Government also approved an action plan to implement the convention as well as a protocol to prevent human trafficking.
Zhuldyz Akisheva, country director of UNODC Viet Nam, applauded Viet Nam's activities in this field, saying now was the right time for the country to boost co-operation in advocacy, legislation development and capacity building as organised crime in the region was increasing and becoming more complicated.
Vice Director of Criminal and Administrative Laws Department Le Van Anh said that there were many gaps between Viet Nam's Penal Code and the convention and urged revisions and amendments to the law. At present, contributions to the draft of the revised law are welcomed; it will likely be on the National Assembly's agenda for 2015.
The Penal Code does not currently meet all requirements of the convention concerning criminal-isation. Some criminal acts are not punished promptly, such as participation in organised crime, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
In particular, the Penal Code does not have separate regulations concerning conspiracy or participation in organised crime. Under the code, those who belong to an organised crime syndicate but do not commit crimes or counsel others are not committing crimes (except cases regulated in Article 79).
When an individual committed crimes on behalf of a legal entity, they were not prosecuted and punished properly, Anh said, a problem the revised penal code should address. — VNS