HA NOI (VNS)— Building a capable, ethical and democratic justice system by 2020 was a major priority for Viet Nam, and international support would help hasten this achievement, deputy minister of justice Hoang The Lien said yesterday.
At a meeting for the Justice Partnership Programme (JPP), a joint programme launched in 2010 between Viet Nam, the European Union, Denmark and Sweden that represents the largest development project of this kind in the country, Lien said that the partnership had seen significant results.
Worth 18.7 million euros (US$25 million), the five-year programme was expected to strengthen implementation of judicial reforms, empower the Viet Nam Bar Federation to manage independently and improve awareness of rights and access to justice.
John Nielsen, the Royal Danish Embassy's mission head, said that one of the programme's most significant achievements so far was that for the first time, the Viet Nam Bar Federation was operating independently, without Government subsidies.
Moreover, proposals for thirty-two initiatives have been submitted to the Justice Initiative Facilitation Fund, part of the programme, he said, noting that the initiatives would help non-State organisations improve awareness on laws, rights and access to justice.
According to Trinh Xuan Toan, permanent member of the Central Judicial Reform
Steering Committee, in the next three years, Viet Nam's judicial reforms would focus on improving relevant legal frameworks. A national Justice Council might also be established.
The reform strategy also aimed to bring new innovations to personnel training and upgrade the technological infrastructure in judicial offices, he said.
Deputy minister Lien said that the programme fit in with the general objective of building a Vietnamese state governed by the rule of law, and that reviewing its activities would be very helpful for future reform.
In 2012 alone, the programme helped the Justice Ministry with the revision and promulgation of the Law on Lawyers and completed a capacity building plan for the National Legal Aid Agency and Strategy on Judicial Records Development to 2020.
The programme also supported reforms in the Supreme People's Procuracy and Supreme People's Court. — VNS