Monday, January 15, 2018, 07:58 (GMT+7)
Solutions for enhancing the quality of legal education in the Army

Legal education plays an important role in improving the legal awareness and culture and contributes greatly to the soldiers’ obedience to State’s law and Army’s disciplines. The requirements of Army building today have necessitated the solutions for enhancing the quality of this work.

Implementing the Resolution No.29-NQ/TW dated 04 November 2013 of the Party’s Secretariat (11th tenure) on the fundamental and comprehensive renewal of education and training to meet the requirements of industrialisation and modernisation amid the conditions of the socialist-oriented market economy and international integration, and the Circular No.42/2016/TT-BQP dated 30 March 2016 of the Ministry of National Defence on legal dissemination and education in the Army, military units have been proactive in renewing the content, models and methods with the aim of enhancing the quality of legal education and meeting the requirements of making the Army “revolutionary, regular, seasoned and increasingly modern” amid the context of establishing a rule-of-law state and international integration today.

Legal education in the VPA is an oriented operation which is organized on a regular basis by a number of models and methods to fit each specific type of education and group of troops. Its fundamental components include: goals and results, subjects and objects, content and modes, methods and means.

In 2016, a survey of the practice of legal dissemination and education in 8 military units revealed that: the activity has been led and directed with due attention by commanders of the units through their monthly resolutions and plans; emphasis has been placed on the investment in materials, time, renewals in content and modes, and in the training of instructors and disseminators, meeting the requirements of the improved quality of the work. However, some matters still remain and need further working-on to meet the set out requirements. Though units all have founded their own Councils for legal dissemination and education, none of them has specialised disseminators. The content of education has been in compliance with the unified direction of the Ministry, but the modes and methods have not been synchronised and unified, hence the results gained fell short of expectations.

Basing on the above-mentioned practical situation, the author would like to introduce the following solutions for enhancing the quality of the work in the coming time.

First, raising the awareness and strengthening the leadership, direction and implementing thoroughly the work. Each officer and soldier, especially commanders at all echelons, should be fully aware of the importance of the work to the cause of building the Army in the new situation.

The legal awareness of the officers and soldiers is shaped only by regular, continuous and persistent legal education. The outcome of legal education can not be seen immediately like other educational activities, but gained from a long and persistent accumulating process with the involvement of all of the components of the work, namely: subjects, objects, content, modes, methods, means, goals, and results. Besides focusing on awareness improvement and implementation of the monthly plans for legal education, units should strengthen their checking and supervisory activities. Without due checking, supervising and reviewing, an activity can hardly yield good results. For this reason, legal education should be checked regularly in association with the inspection of party work and political work, on an annual or biannual basis. Checking will find out good models and effective ways of doing for popularisation, while opportunely correcting the bad ones.

In order to have an objective and accurate evaluation of the work, functional agencies should study and give out a “Set of criteria” for assessing the standard of legal education in the Army in accordance with the Decision 619/QĐ-TTg dated 08 May 2017 by the Prime Minister. In addition, there should be concrete indexes showing the number of trainees monthly, and the number of complaint and denunciation cases being solved, the number of discipline breaches.

Second, ceaselessly renewing the content, models and methods. The renewals should be guided towards the streamlined, modern, realistic direction, fitting all ages, levels and professions with an emphasis placed on the application of theory to practice. Attention should be paid to the development of personality, morality, lifestyle, legal knowledge and sense of responsibility. For each content and object, there should be suitable models and methods to fit the perception of the trainees, and facilities available. Legal education is usually tight and dry, which may bore the listeners. Therefore, renewing its contents and models should be paid more attention, done regularly, and made suitable with each specific unit, object, and condition. Though legal education has become a monthly routine in units, it should be renewed in content and methods so that it is no longer a must but one of the likes of officers and soldiers. Moreover, its models should be diversified with various forms such as, artistic performance, contests, discussions, etc.

Third, standardising the legal instructors and disseminators. To date, many legal instructors at the military schools still fall short of standard. Units should build plans for building and developing their legal teaching staff by asking them to get a second degree in laws. By this way, units can standardise the subjects of legal education - the decisive factor of this work. The disseminators should also be standardised in accordance with the Article 55 of the Law on legal dissemination and education and the Article 37 of the Circular No.42/2016/TT-BQP of the Ministry of National Defence. The standardisation of instructors and disseminators should be done in different models and methods. Full-time training should be combined with in-place training; the senior teaches the junior; the experienced teaches the newbie. What’s more, the self-study of this staff should be encouraged.

Fourth, ensuring the facilities for the work. Facilities and budget for legal education are very important in quality enhancement. First, units should establish the system of legal information, “Legal advisory teams” to brief legal content to officers and soldiers as well as meeting the demand of legal consultation of soldiers. Besides, there should be a legal software so that officers and soldiers can search necessary legal documents in a timely and accurate manner and a designated budget for legal education in light of the Joint Circular 14 (2014) of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, as well as the Circular 42 (2016) of the Ministry of National Defence.

Law represents the most important tool for the State to manage the society. For the Army, legal education is a crucial method contributing to enhancing legal awareness, reducing discipline breaches, and making the Army regular, seasoned and increasingly modern. Legal study is one of the important rights and duties of the military staff. Officers and soldiers in the Army should proactively participate in the legal education so that they would “Live and work in accordance with the Constitution and laws”.

Senior Colonel Nguyen Van Vi, MA, Military Technical College

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