Support to the Office of the Government in Legal Issues
Title: Support to the Office of the Government in Legal Issues
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Viet Nam
Lead executing agency: Office of the Government
Overall term: 2013 to 2015
Constitutionality and legal stability are important factors of good governance. In Viet Nam, reform and democratisation efforts influenced by the country’s growing international integration are resulting in significant changes to the legal system. For several years, therefore, the Vietnamese Government has been accelerating its legal reforms designed to promote the rule of law. An important contribution in this respect is the Legal System Development Strategy, which runs until 2020.
The Office of the Government (OoG) and its Department of Law play a decisive role in implementing the Strategy. The Department is directly involved in the drafting of legislation, and is responsible for coordinating the relevant ministries and, the National Assembly and any third parties involved. It also advises the prime minister and the government, providing them with statements on draft legislation, and it monitors the enforcement of laws and other legal documents once they have been enacted.
The procedures and legal commentaries of the Office of the Government in the legislative process comply with the rule of law.
GIZ is supporting Viet Nam’s legislative reforms by providing advisory services to the Office of the Government, especially the Department of Law. It organises training measures, field trips, international and national workshops and study tours. In particular, the project focuses on strengthening technical capacities and improving the partners’ understanding of democracy, law, constitution and international legal standards. It also works to enhance the institutional and functional organisation of the legislative process.
- In the legislative process, draft laws must be verified by the Office of the Government before being submitted to the prime minister. With the support of the project, OoG now performs this verification process more effectively, producing comments with a higher quality of technical and professional content.
- The improved quality of OoG’s recommendations and comments on legal drafts mean that the recommendations and statements now achieve greater acceptance and secure the approval of the prime minister.
- For the verification process, OoG has introduced a system of consultations with relevant organisations and ministries, as well as with high-ranking experts who form a scientific advisory board to advise on various legal and technical aspects.
- As well as being the verification body, OoG now acts as a coordination point for all law drafts prior to their submission to the government. The improved capacities of the Office means it can now get more deeply involved in the passage of numerous law drafts.
- OoG has started a process of organisational development for the Department of Law. This aims to standardise working procedures in the line with international practice, and ensure the compliance of draft legislation with international standards and constitutional requirements.