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The Supreme People's Court of Vietnam: Benchbook Online

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The Benchbook is created at a time when the country is undergoing a period of judicial reform and is in transition toward a socialism-oriented market economy. This gives opportunities and poses challenges for the Court system. In addition, Vietnam has aceded to and signed a lot of international conventions and treaties, both multilateral and bilateral. Especially when Vietnam becomes a member of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”), it requires that the legal system, both non-proceeding laws and proceeding laws, be improved to meet requirements of such organization. It is estimated that more and more diversified and complicated disputes and petitions will be filed with the Courts in the transition. This practice requires Vietnamese Judges not only to have wide knowledge of non-proceeding laws in different areas but also understand and apply in a fluently manner relevant proceeding laws for the purpose of resolving different types of disputes.

The contents of the Benchbook include comments and guidelines with respect to theoretical and practical skills for resolving different types of cases at Court. The Benchbook is not a selection of laws or codes for Judges to use directly in the course of making decisions or judgments. The Benchbook supports Judges in finding necessary information for resolving particular cases, or plays as clues for making proper decisions or judgments. The contents and presentation style of the Benchbook are built for the purpose of meeting current practical requirements; at the same time, it can be changed and updated easily and conveniently if necessary.

The Benchbook is created as a manual for Judges in improving their expertise and faciliating their daily duties. In addition, the Benchbook will be an important source of references cho persons who conduct proceedings (in general), teachers, law students, etc. for their use. These references help persons who participate in proceedings understand better about proceeding procedures at Court and facilitate the performance of such procedures. The Benchbook also makes the public have more specific idea about judiciary activities and makes the Court system have closer approach to the public and improve the transparency of proceeding procedures.

With the above nature, purpose and meaning, the Supreme People’s Court, especially the authors and the Editors, has spent great efforts in developing the Benchbook. The Benchbook has been created with technical assistance by the Australian Agency for International Development (“AUSAID”) via the Vietnam - Australia Capacity Building for Effective Governance (“CEG”) Facility, Australian Embassy to Vietnam, especially Mr. Graham Alliband - Director of the CEG Facility in developing the Benchbook of the Supreme People’s Court. The Supreme People’s Court would like to thank the Australian international consultants, Ms. Cate Sumner and Justice Michael Moore who have contributed  a lot to the success of the Benchbook.

We very much hope that the Benchbook will satisfy all users, especially Judges. In that spirit, the Supreme People’s Court wishes to receive comments contributed to the Benchbook, so that we can continue our revisions and improvements made to the next edititions.

Doctor Nguyen Van Hien
Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court