UNODC assists Viet Nam in efforts to strengthen the implementation of Anti-Corruption legislation

Ha Long (Viet Nam), 18 June 2020 - UNODC and the Supreme People’s Court of Viet Nam (SPC) organized a consultation on obstacles in addressing corruption cases, recovery of proceeds of crime and contents of the Resolution of the Judges’ Council of the Supreme People’s Court guiding the application of the Anti-Corruption Legislation.

“The focus of our discussion is formulating productive and effective critique and concrete recommendations on the resolution of the Judges’ Council of the Supreme People’s Court (JCR)”, said Mr. Francesco Checchi, UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor.

Gathering over 60 participants including Deputy Chief Justice Nguyen Tri Tue, judges, researchers, legislators, legal experts, law enforcement officers, government officials and development partners in Viet Nam, the workshop served as a forum for practitioners and experts to raise problems they face in dealing with corruption cases, and discuss ways to effectively address them.

The workshop responded to a growing public awareness on the pervasiveness of corruption in the Vietnamese society and reflected an increased Government resolve to address it. Earlier this year, a resolution of the Government identified drastically combating corruption, wastefulness and wrongdoings as a priority for 2020. At the 17th session of the Central Steering Committee on Corruption Prevention and Control in Hanoi on January 20, 2020, President Nguyen Phu Trong called for higher determination and more effective measures to fight corruption. Ten grand corruption cases will be put to trial in 2020.

Deputy Chief Justice of SPC Nguyen Tri Tue commended the success of the workshop, stating: “After this workshop, the JCR drafting team will take into consideration the suggestions made by the participants so that this important document can be adopted within this year”.

Participants highlighted a number of difficulties in addressing corruptionin Viet Nam.

According to a representative of the Ministry of Public Security, corruption cases often involve high level officials that can use their power to obstruct the investigation process, and trans-jurisdictional corruption cases presents several difficulties, particularly in collecting evidence and recovering assets located abroad.

At the moment, assets can only be recovered when they are proven in court to be proceed of crime. Some participants suggested integrating extended powers of confiscation in the Vietnamese criminal justice system to enable compensation for damages through confiscation of property.

Prof. Dr. Tran Van Do, Former Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme People’s Court, highlighted problems faced by judges and prosecutors in corruption cases—such as dealing with non-material bribes (sex, educational opportunities), people offering gifts or favors to high ranking officials, and deciding on exemption from criminal liability.

This event, funded by the Australian and UK Governments, is one of the activities carried out by UNODC to support Viet Nam in the implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption and in the reform of the criminal justice system.