Opening the event, Deputy Minister Nguyen Khanh Ngoc said Vietnam has obtained a number of achievements in law completion and enforcement to enhance people’s access to justice and law, especially among poor people and vulnerable groups.
He noted the 2013 Constitution along with many laws and sub-law documents have been issued, showing Vietnam’s commitment to ensuring human rights and the equality of all people in the society. The apparatus and operations of law enforcement agencies have been reformed towards efficiency, integrity and transparency.
However, authorised agencies have also realised that much remain to be done to perfect the legal framework and better enforce law, especially to ensure the access to justice by low-income earners and vulnerable groups, the official added.
Nguyen Thi Minh, Director of the MoJ’s National Legal Aid Agency, said the Law on Legal Aid was first issued in 2006 and its amended version was approved in June 2017. The revised law increases the groups subject to legal aid from six to 14.
She said the expansion of the beneficiary groups demonstrated the Party and State’s comprehensive attention to vulnerable persons. The provision of full and quality legal aid for the groups will help implement social welfare policies well.
The expansion of the subject groups also means a sharp rise in the number of people that need legal aid. This is a big challenge to authorised agencies and requires them thoroughly prepare personnel and financial resources to ensure the law’s feasibility.
Minh noted aside from the state budget’s financial support, local administrations need to proactively mobilise private resources and international organisations’ assistance to this work.
Do Xuan Lan, Director of the MoJ’s Department of Legal Dissemination and Education, said grassroots reconciliation will help people come to know about their rights and legitimate interests when facing concrete cases, helping them have appropriate choices and reactions.
Agencies should combine grassroots reconciliation with lawyers’ activities, law advice provision, legal aid, law dissemination, and complaints and denunciation settlement so as to deal with disputes in a timely manner, he added.
At the forum, participants also discussed ensuring justice for gender-based violence victims, grassroots reconciliation facts, and regulations on legal aid, among others.