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Revised legislation signed off as National Assembly session closes

Update: November, 28/2015 - 09:35
Lawmakers passed the draft revised Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code yesterday. Deputies approved 16 laws during the tenth session of the 13th National Assembly that ended yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
HA NOI  (VNS) — The tenth session of the 13th National Assembly has been completed with many important decisions made, said NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung yesterday in Ha Noi.

Speaking at the closing of the session, Hung said the NA had approved 16 laws, some resolutions and discussed 10 other laws or law projects. Among these, there are laws that had significant impacts on people's lives.

"These laws contribute greatly to the improvement of the legal system in the protection of justice, human rights, citizen rights, the socialist-oriented market economy, while also help consolidate national defence and security," Chairman Hung said.

He also said that the NA's latest session had conducted continuing renewals when organising the Q&A session with all members of the Government cabinet.

"The Q&A session was conducted in a frank, honest, responsible and constructive manner and received great attention from the public," he added.

Hung called on the National Election Council and relevant bodies to conduct proper preparation for the coming election of the 14th National Assembly next year.

Nguyen Si Dung, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Office, said this session had undertaken crucial matters and was a "major one".

"It prepared solid foundations for the coming National Assembly, which will be selected next year, so that they can conduct effective national administration," he said.

Revised penal code

Earlier the same day, lawmakers approved the draft revised Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code (amended).

The draft revised Penal Code, which sailed through the National Assembly with 84.01 percent of the vote, will come into force on July 1, 2016.

The revised Penal Code aims to protect national sovereignty and security, socialism, human rights, citizens' rights, the right to equality among ethnic minority groups, interests of the State and organisations and legal order.

New contents such as the criminal liability of legal entities and the scope of legal entities' criminal liability make up the amended code.

The National Assembly Standing Committee held that the supplements are essential to meet the requirements of crime prevention and combat in the new situation, especially violations of economy and environment-related laws.

The majority of people and NA deputies showed their approval for the supplements, the committee said.

The code prescribes that the death penalty is not imposed on offenders under-18 , pregnant women and women who are nursing children under 36 months or those who are more than 75 years old when they commit a crime or are put on trial.

The death penalty will be removed for those who are charged with embezzlement and corruption but proactively hand back three quarters of the embezzled assets, the code says.

At the session, 87.04 percent of the deputies voted for the revised Penal Code.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Procedure Code (amended) was adopted by the National Assembly with 85.63 of the vote.

Comprising of eight parts, 37 chapters and 510 articles, the code's objective is to ensure the prompt and fair treatment of crimes.

It prescribes criminal proceedings, tasks and rights of competent agencies and individuals, rights and obligations of those involved in the process, and international co-operation in criminal procedures.

The code requires sound and image recordings when interrogations take place to ensure transparency and protect citizens' rights in line with the Constitution.

The legal document will take effect on July 1, 2016 to replace the Criminal Procedure Code issued in 2003.

Information access

A majority of deputies agreed on the necessity of promulgating the Law on Access to Information at a debate earlier yesterday.

The issuance of the law is to actualise the country's Constitution on citizens' right to information access, in line with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Viet Nam is a member.

The law will help people exercise their right of mastery, thus improving the transparency of policies and State management.

To make the law feasible, it is necessary to clarify issues on published information; information providers; and procedures to implement the right to information access, lawmakers suggested.

Deputy Nguyen Lam Thanh from the northern province of Lang Son said the right to information access means the right to exercise democracy, build a rule-of-law state and join socio-economic development activities.

Deputy Do Ngoc Nien from the central province of Binh Thuan proposed devising additional basic regulations on state secrets and undisclosed documents to facilitate public access to information.

He said citizens have the right to information regarding human rights and their fundamental interests.

Lawmakers also discussed those having the right to information access and those responsible for providing information.

At the working session, NA deputies adopted a draft resolution on preventing and fighting law violations and crimes. They also scrutinised activities of People's Procuracies and People's Courts as well as law enforcement in 2016. — VNS

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