Thursday, February 27, 2020, 23:13 (GMT+7)

Thursday, October 11, 2018, 07:01 (GMT+7)
Accelerating judicial reform in the Military

Grasping the Party and State’s guidelines on judicial reform, the Military has been taking synchronous measures seriously to improve the quality and efficiency of this work, combat and prevent crime and violations of law and military discipline, thereby contributing to enhancing the Military’s combat strength in the new situation.

Grounded on resolutions and directives by the Party and State on judicial reform, particularly the Politburo’s Resolution 49-NQ/TW, dated June 2nd 2005, on the Judicial Reform Strategy until 2020, over the past years, the Military has put store by the judicial reform work which has been conducted via synchronous measures and produced important results. Typically, the awareness and responsibility of cadres and party members, particularly those from judicial offices towards the position, role and necessity of the military judicial reform have been considerably raised. The work of legal propagation, dissemination and education has been carried out widely, deeply and effectively. Cadres and troops within the Military have basically observed the military discipline and the State’s law, contributing to making offices and units comprehensively strong. The National Defence Ministry’s Steering Board on Judicial Reform and particularly its standing agency - the Legal Department have cooperated with judicial offices (Military Court, Military Procuracy, Criminal Investigation Department, Investigation Security, Judgement Enforcement) in encouraging the spirit of reform, actively studying, building, completing, amending and supplementing the system of legal normative documents in order to streamline the organizational structure, clearly assign function and task to each office, and improve the efficiency of judicial operations. The work of building, training, and using cadres in each field and position has been conducted on a close, procedural basis, ensuring quality and quantity, meeting the task requirements. The Party’s leadership and the mass organizations’ supervision over the judicial operations have continued to be renewed. Those results have greatly contributed to maintaining discipline, combating and preventing crime and violation of law among cadres and troops, ensuring that the Military is comprehensively strong and fulfils the task of Homeland protection in all situations.

However, in addition to the recorded results, there have been difficulties in cooperation between the Military and universities and relevant offices in selecting and training judicial cadres to ensure their legal competence and military and defence knowledge. The quality of cadres and particularly their capability in building legal documents have yet to meet the requirements of judicial reform. The mechanism for coordination between military judicial offices and local ones in some cases has yet to be close and effective. The uniformity in investigation and application of the law on criminal procedure has yet to be high. The organizational structure of military judicial offices has yet to be streamlined seriously. Materials, equipments, means and legal institutions have yet to be on a par with the requirements of military judicial reform in the new situation.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Le Chiem addressing the conference to review the judicial work
in the final half of 2018 (photo:

In the coming time, the hostile forces’ acts of sabotage and tricks of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” as well as corruption and violation of law within the Military and the rapid development of the 4th industrial revolution during the process of international integration will lead to the presence of new types of crime, such as trans-national crime, money laundering, drug trafficking, economic crime, hi-tech crime, cyber security crime, terrorism, which will directly threaten the work of protecting military secrets, national security and social order as well as cadres and troops’ observance of law and military discipline. Against that backdrop, the work of judicial reform in the Military must continue to be accelerated via synchronous, scientific measures.

First, it is necessary to enhance the leadership of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the party committees of the military regions and equivalents over the work of  judicial reform in the Military. At present, military judicial offices are organized from the Ministry to military region level and equivalent and in the military administrational zones (zone level); therefore, leadership and direction are mainly from the CMC, the party committees of the military regions and equivalents. To make the work of judicial reform more effective to meet the requirements of military building in the new period, in leading this work, party committees at all levels should elaborate the mechanism “the Party closely leads the judicial operations and offices in political, organizational and personnel terms; eliminating the party committee’s slackened leadership over or its improper interference in the judicial operations” as well as the mechanism for administrative management. At the same time, party committees at all levels should direct offices and units to grasp and effectively carry out the tasks in the CMC’s Resolution 67/NQ-ĐUQSTƯ and the Party Central Committee’s Decision 92-KL/TW (11th tenure) on continuing to implement the Resolution 49-NQ/TW in accordance with the assigned task. Focuses of leadership must be placed on education to raise judicial cadres’ awareness and responsibility for judicial reform and law propagation, dissemination and education for troops and people in the stationed areas. It is vital to streamline the organizational structure of military judicial offices to make them compact and improve their effectiveness and efficiency of operation, to ensure the Party’s orientation and guidelines, and to encourage the professionalism of judicial branch according to the assigned function and task. Emphasis should be placed on promoting the role of party committees and Steering Boards on Judicial Reform at all levels in leading, directing, and inspecting the implementation of programs/plans for judicial reform. It is essential to enhance the capability comprehensively, particularly in studying, building, amending, and supplementing documents for dealing with new issues and inconsistent viewpoints in judicial operation as the basis for advising the CMC, the Ministry of National Defence (MND), the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat and the Politburo on targets, viewpoints, guidelines and focuses of judicial reform in the time to come.

Second, building a contingent of pure, strong cadres in judicial offices, meeting the task requirements in the new period. This is a key step deciding the effectiveness of military judicial reform. At present, there is a dearth of cadres in military judicial offices, particularly those having judicial titles. Thus, judicial offices should focus on making a pool of cadres politically strong, expert in legal profession, good at military and defence knowledge, and capable of working in the international legal environment. To meet the urgent demand for this staff, the Legal Department should make recommendations to the MND’s Steering Board on Judicial Reform, advise the CMC, and cooperate with the Personnel Department under the General Department of Politics and relevant ministries, sectors and universities in providing second-degree courses on legal profession for military judicial cadres. At the same time, it is necessary to promote training courses to improve judicial cadres’ knowledge and capability with a focus on new legal knowledge, such as the Cyber Security Law, amended, supplemented legal documents on defence, security, and economics, and international and regional conventions. This is the important basis for advising the CMC and the Politburo on taking part in national-level legal procedure (foreign-related) to defend national sovereignty and territory as well as Vietnamese citizens’ legitimate benefits in defence and security terms in the international environment.

Besides, it is necessary to enhance the capability of cadres in charge of investigation, prosecution, judgement, proceeding and judgement enforcement within the Military. In long term, it is important to continue to study and develop the project to build military law cadres; to combine domestic training with overseas training to ensure the quality and quantity; to gradually realize the criteria for “global judicial cadres” to meet the demand for international cooperation on defence judiciary in accordance with the Project “Renewing the organization and operations of military judicial offices”. In the process, it is essential to streamline the organizational structure of cadres, defence workers and employees under the Politburo’s Resolution 39-NQ/TW, dated April 17th 2015, especially the CMC’s Resolution 606-NQ/QUTW and the Politburo’s Decision 16-KL/TW, dated July 7th 2017, on the organization of the Vietnam People’s Army until 2021. It is vital to closely combine the examination for new recruits in each judicial sector with the reform in the policy work for special working conditions of military judicial cadres to attract those who are enthusiastic, moral and capable enough for judicial titles. Significance should be attached to implementing the Project to combat and prevent negative phenomena in judicial operations in line with the implementation of the Politburo’s Directive 05 on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle in order to build a contingent of really pure, strong military judicial cadres.

Third, renewing and improving the quality and effectiveness of military judicial offices. Grounded on the assigned function and task, judicial offices should closely cooperate with military offices and units in stepping up the implementation of the Project on law dissemination and education to render troops fully aware of new artifices of crime of all types in order to maintaining the vigilance against, combating and preventing the commitment to crime. Party committees and commands of offices and units within the Military should regularly draw lessons from and orientate troops’ thought via serious violations of discipline, particularly violations of the State’s law within the Military. The MND’s Steering Board on Judicial Reform, particularly the Legal Department should continue to keep a close watch on, direct, and inspect the development and implementation of the annual, 6-month reform plans/programs according to the CMC’s focal tasks of judicial reform in the 2016-2020 period by judicial offices under the MND, the Steering Boards on Judicial Reform under the military regions and equivalents. They should seriously, closely draw lessons and propose the guidelines and roadmap for the following period. It is necessary to build and complete mechanisms for promoting the role of the system of judicial offices with the Military Courts playing the core role and judgement activities acting as the centre in the military judicial operations. In short term, it is vital to focus on effectively exercising the authority of Military Courts to judge criminal cases, improve the effectiveness of investigation, assessment and crime decision under the 2012 Law on judicial assessment and the capability of proceedings and the effectiveness of legal procedure in the judgement activity, particularly in the specially serious, complex cases. There is a need for regulations on coordination and working relationship on the basis of function and task of each military judicial office. It is important to clearly assign the responsibility and authority to investigators, prosecutors, and judges so that they could proactively, independently make decisions and take responsibility for their decisions on legal proceedings under the regulations of the law. It is necessary to cooperate with the Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuracy, Ministry of Public Security, and Ministry of Justice in effectively implementing Military Courts’ authority of judgement; to consolidate the organizational structure and enhance the effectiveness of operation of offices, namely military investigation, security, judgement enforcement and judicial assistance; to establish models of legal assistance in the Military in order to meet troops’ demand for legal consultation related to the issues both inside and outside the Military. Against the backdrop of hostile intense sabotage, military judicial operations should focus on enhancing the efficiency of state’s management over defence, building the rule of law socialist state, maintaining political security and social order, perfecting the legal system in military and defence terms, taking part in building laws under the Constitution. Besides, it is vital to complete the Project “Renewing the organization and operations of military judicial offices”, submit it to the Central Steering Board on Judicial Reform and the Politburo for the approval. It is necessary to effectively, economically use the Government budget to implement the projects and build working offices of the Military Judicial Brach in the 2018-2020 period. Finally, it is important to continue to make recommendations to the CMC and the MND about building facilities and providing technical equipment and means to enhance the effectiveness of operations of military judicial offices and contribute to maintaining military discipline, improving the Military’s combat strength, and ensuring that the Military could fulfil the mission assigned by the Party, the State and the people.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Le Chiem, Member of the Party Central Committee

Deputy Minister of National Defence, Head of the MND’s Steering Board on Judicial Reform

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.