Vietnam

The CBA provided long-term technical assistance to the newly established Vietnam Bar Federation. Component II: Support to the Vietnam Bar Federation of the Justice Partnership Programme was funded by the European Union, Denmark and Sweden. The project supported the newly established national bar in its institutional capacity development, the regulation of lawyers, professional development of lawyers and trainee lawyers, in engagement in law reform and in representing the rights and interests of lawyers. 

Outcomes include:

  • Developing stronger organizational structures
  • A national Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • Establishing a professional development program for lawyers
  • Improved relationships with the government and other legal system stakeholders through engagement in law reform
  • Greater recognition of the role of lawyers in Vietnam

Support to the Vietnam Bar Federation

Background

In December 2009 the CBA was awarded a contract by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida) to provide long term technical assistance to the newly established Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) to support the development and implementation of a framework that facilitates the empowerment of lawyers in Vietnam. The project will be for 3-4 years.

Current Status

  • Since March 2010, the CBA has been working with the VBF to create and put in place norms and structures for self management and the regulation of the legal profession, to assert itself as an articulator of professional common interests and views and to organize professional training for aspiring and already active lawyers.
  • After the Inception Mission to Vietnam in March-/April 2010,¬† the CBA¬†team in conjunction with its Vietnamese partners developed a start-up ¬†work plan for the VBF.¬† The work plan led to a Strategic Planning workshop in September 2010 with the participation of five Canadian experts. In preparation for the Strategic Planning Workshop, the VBF conducted a needs assessment of its members¬†and also consulted other agencies and stakeholders. The information was used to establish the VBF long term strategic objectives and the three year implementation framework adopted by the Steering Committee in October 2010.¬†
  • Norms and structures for self-management and regulation of legal profession:
    • The development of the VBF website was undertaken with the technical support of the CBA Information and Technologies¬† Director.
    • Governance and Communications Workshop held in May 2011 with participation of the CBA Senior Director Communications and former CBA Senior Director Finance and Administration. As a result of this workshop the VBF developed its communications strategy.¬†
    • The VBF finalized an approved a national Code of conduct¬†in 2011 and is currently delivering initial trainings to lawyers on the Code.
    • A Workshop¬†to develop a Finance and Economic Development Strategy for the VBF was held in June 2012 facilitated by¬†the CBA's CEO and a Governance Workshop was held in¬†July 2012 to further support development of VBF's governance structures. The Financial and Economic Development Strategy of the VBF was approved by Council in July 2013.
    • In August 2012,¬†a VBF delegation attended¬†the CBA CLC in Vancouver and studied the organization and regulation of the legal profession and the legal system of Canada.
    • VBF finalized and approved a Discipline of Lawyers regulation in 2012 to ensure uniform procedures are applied across the country by local bars.
    • Pilot local bar associations were selected and supported with the provision of equipment and will be engaged in pilot pro bono delivery activities.
    • A sharing experiences training workshop was held with management boards of local bar associations in May 2013 with the Secretary of Law Society of New South Wales, Australia.
    • In September/October 2013, a VBF delegation travelled to Sweden and Denmark to study the organization and regulation of the legal profession and the overall justice systems of these countries.
    • In October 2013, the Past President of the CBA and the Executive Director of the Alberta Branch of the CBA assisted in a workshop to review the Strategic Plan of the VBF
  • VBF¬†as articulator of professional common interests and¬†views:
    • The VBF made submissions on the draft Civil Procedure Code and several of the recommendations were taken into consideration in the final version of the¬† legislation.
    • The VBF is developing recommentations on the criminal procedure code and in March 2012 held workshop on comparative approaches to criminal procedure with experts on Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian law jointly funded by various donors.
    • The VBF delivered submissions on the proposed revisions to the Law on Lawyers in 2012 to Ministry of Justice and National Assembly.
    • In 2012, the VBF developed submissions of compiled comments of lawyers to improve administrative procedures in immigration, notarizations and nationality, as well as on recommendations to reform the Civil Code.
    • The VBF made submissions on the proposed reforms to the Constitution in 2013.
    • The VBF conducted a survey of the implementation of Circular 70 of the Ministry of Public Security on the rights of defence counsel and held follow-up discussions with the Ministry.
    • The VBF worked with the government to have 10 October oficially recognized as Lawyers' Day. On Lawyers' Day in 2013, the VBF and local bar associations conducted public awareness raising activities and provided free legal advice.
  • Professional training for lawyers:
    • The VBF hosted a Regional Workshop on Developing Continuing Legal Education Programs for Lawyers with the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Lao Bar Association, facilitated by three Canadian experts, including the CBA Director of Professional Development, in July 2011 jointly funded by CBA’s CIDA Partnership Program.¬†
    • Career orientation roundtable discussions, some combined with mock trials, were held at six universities with panels of senior lawyers. In total, over 1600¬†students attended.
    • A Train the Trainer workshop was held in April 2012¬†facilitated by a Canadian expert.
    • With support of the project, the VBF has delivered over 20 professional development courses on various topics.
    • The VBF has been publishing Educational Bulletins for members which are also available electronically.