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Conference tackles judicial corruption

Update: February, 04/2015 - 08:39
"If the Government wants to curb bribery in the judiciary, it should pay attention to the quality of human resources and monitor officials' assets, " Nguyen Duc Chinh said. — Photo plo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Corruption in the judiciary is becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it hard to even define what bribery is and curb it, a seminar on judicial graft in the south heard in HCM City on Monday.

"Corrupt officials make up a big proportion of the judicial office, and it is hard for the public to trust the judicial system," Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Nguyen Duc Chinh, a former deputy justice minister, as telling the seminar.

If the Government wants to curb bribery in the judiciary, it should pay attention to the quality of human resources and monitor officials' assets, he said.

Many judicial officials take bribes, but the judiciary is independent and not under the control of other agencies, he pointed out, calling for creating an entity to oversee it.

"People go to the courts as the final resort. If corruption is widespread here too, who can they depend on?"

Concurring with Chinh, Le Thi Thu Ba, deputy head of the Central Judicial Renovation Steering Committee, said judicial officials have the huge power of arresting and releasing people and deciding on cases involving thousands of billions of dong.

"If we don't have professional, skillful, moral, and responsible personnel who are brave enough to safeguard justice, who can people depend on?

"The most important thing is that we must define what bribery is in all spheres of the judiciary. Public and media oversight of judicial activities is also very important."

Lawyer Nguyen Van Hau, deputy chairman of the HCM City Lawyers Association, admitted that a lot of lawyers pay bribes because judicial officials demand them.

"The existing justice model has created conditions for lawyers to become bribers to get favourable verdicts because of the lack of oversight over the justice system.

"The inequality between lawyers and judicial officers needs to be reviewed."

In recent times the Supreme People's Procuracy has actively fought corruption as dozens of personnel have been fined and even criminally prosecuted.

"Corruption in the justice sector is severely punished because justice directly impacts human rights," Hoang Thi Quynh Chi, deputy head of the People's Supreme Procuracy's Criminal Science Institute, said.

Truong Hoa Binh, chief justice of the Supreme People's Court, said a judicial official is not the same as other State personnel.

"A complete and transparent legal system is a must to streamline judicial activities. At the same time we must eliminate the situation where people can get different verdicts from different courts in a case." — VNS

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