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Experts propose positive changes to Penal Code

Update: October, 23/2014 - 14:39
During the three-day workshop on compliance with the Organised Crime Convention, experts discussed positive ways to amend the Penal Code. — Photo baophapluat

HAI PHONG (VNS) — The amended Penal Code should ensure human rights, citizen's rights and have goodwill, as well as have a better deterrent effect, said experts at a workshop opened in the northern city of Hai Phong today.

During the three-day workshop on compliance with the Organised Crime Convention, experts discussed positive ways to amend the Penal Code.

Tran Van Dung, deputy director of the Department of Criminal and Administrative Law under the Ministry of Justice, said that to improve its effectiveness and make the law suitable to the present socio-economic situation, the term of imprisonment should be reduced and administrative punishment imposed.

This is because economic and environmental crimes have increased, causing great loss to the nation's economy and ecology. For such criminals, administrative punishment will be more suitable.

The criminals can be punished in other ways such as being banned from mobilising funds for one to three years or from setting up domestic and international corporations.

Amnesty should be granted more often to give prisoners a chance to re-integrate with the community, he said.

Nguyen Van Hoan, also deputy director of the Criminal and Administrative Law Department, said that the imprisonment laws should focus on different kinds of transnational organised criminals, such as those involved in terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking and giving of bribes.

Riikka Puttonen, from the Organised Crime Branch of UNODC, said that Viet Nam's accession to the Organised Crime Convention demonstrates the country's strong commitment to combating organised crime, a phenomenon that affects every single country.

UNODC will support the Ministry of Justice in conducting this assessment of the draft amendments to the Penal Code in order to review the compatibility of national legislative provisions with the Convention, and the criminalisation provisions of the Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Protocols.

The experts also agreed that the words in the amended law should be made clearer so that lower-level legal organisations can apply it without wasting time in waiting for a guidance document from the Ministry of Justice.

Dung said, "If the measures are implemented well, the amended Penal Code will be a new, important progress and will be suitable to international conventions." -- VNS

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