Justice in Vietnam: reform for the future

Over the last five years, the Justice Partnership Programme has supported the reform of the justice sector across Vietnam. 

As the largest justice reform programme in Vietnam, it has made significant gains in helping the country develop a capable and democratic justice sector that protects the rights of both the citizen and state.

Through the programme, the British Council has managed numerous initiatives to work towards their goal of supporting institutions, building capability and modernising the Vietnamese justice system.

Some of these achievements and new approaches include supporting the implementation of a judicial reform strategy, revising and implementing important laws, establishing a national system for criminal records, and improving the state legal aid systems.

The up-skilling of staff across the justice sector has also been a major focus. Through training and capacity-building activities, staff at the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuracy have developed new and existing skills relevant to the reforms. 

Successful pilot projects implemented through the Justice Partnership Programme have been taken up on a larger scale across the country. For example, a pilot to increase the number of bailiff offices in one province was extended to a further 12, leading to a total of 52 offices.

All major laws defined in the initial project documentation have also been supported, while several additional laws have also been revised throughout the programme’s lifetime. 

The programme’s funders – the European Union, DANIDA and SIDA – contributed €18 million to the programme over five years, with the elements of the programme managed by the British Council receiving over €7 million of the total funding. And with the sustainability of the programme’s activities being a key highlight of the initial programme evaluation, this looks to have been a good investment for the future.

 

October 2015