Rule of Law
This particular part of the Vietnam Programme contains two specific fields: Investigative Interviewing and Legal Aid.
In response to the Universal Periodic Review of 2009, the Vietnamese Government expressed its support for ensuring compliance of key pieces of national legislation, namely the 2003 Criminal Procedure Code and 1999 Penal Code with international human rights treaty commitments.
The Vietnamese criminal justice system faces a number of challenges in this respect. Among these lies the issue of implementation of the 2003 Criminal Procedure Code in a manner consistent with international human rights law. The Vietnam Programme has narrowed its focus to the areas described below.
The presumption of innocence is a key legal principal in preserving the rights of the accused throughout the criminal justice process. Thus, the Vietnam Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Public Security has identified the implementation of the presumption of innocence in the investigative and interrogation process as a key focus of Programme activities.
The role of the defence lawyer during the criminal justice process is essential to ensure adherence to domestic criminal procedure and international human rights law. In close connection with our partners, the Vietnam Programme endeavours to work towards improvement of the working relationship between Vietnamese defence lawyers and police.
Through a number of training seminars and workshops, the Vietnam Programme will facilitate a two way exchange of knowledge and experience between Vietnam and Norway in relation to the presumption of innocence and the role of the defense lawyer in practice.
Legal Aid in Vietnam is thoroughly integrated into the activities of mass organisations as well as bodies such as the UNDP who operate significant nationwide legal aid programs. In an effort to support ongoing initiatives, the Vietnam Programme has enlisted the assistance of Juss Buss, the Norwegian student run legal aid organisation of the University of Oslo.
The Vietnam Programme and Juss-Buss aids Clinical Legal Education at Ho Chi Minh City Law University and Hue University in their work with providing prisoners and workers legal education and legal aid.