The National Legislative Development Project (NLD) was originally a seven year, $14 million project to support an integrated program of reform of the Vietnamese legislative development process and improve the quality of economic legislation. The project was funded by Global Affairs Canada.

Over the last two decades, with support from international donors, the Government of Vietnam developed and implemented a number of administrative and legislative initiatives to strengthen its legal institutions and improve its processes. One of the measures undertaken was to reform its legislative processes. The Law on the Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents (LPLND), was adopted in 2015 in an attempt to reform a legal framework that had become inconsistent, ineffective and often contradictory.

The NLD was designed to support capacity development initiatives related to four core components of the new law-making process:

  1. Strategic planning, needs assessments and performance management
  2. Policy research, impact assessment and consultation capacities
  3. Technical skills for legislative drafting
  4. The consistency, coherence and organization of legislation

The Vietnamese project partners were the Ministry of Justice (lead partner), Law Committee of the National Assembly, Office of Government, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Canadian partners included the Canadian Bar Association, Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario (Ontario Justice International) and Stikeman Elliott LLP.

Phase 1 of the project was launched in May 2013. Its main focus was to conduct a detailed assessment of Vietnam’s legislative development process and to support the development of the 2015 Law on the Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents. In Phase 2, the project supported activities for the implementation of the LPLND, including activities to strengthen the capacity of individual institutions and officials, and collaboration between institutions, engaged in the legislative process.

The NLD project came to an end in September 2018, after 5 of the anticipated 7 years in implementation. By this time, significant progress had been registered in relation to policy development, gender equality mainstreaming and public consultations, and legislative standardization and coherence. Strategic planning advanced significantly in Phase 2 with the development of the “draft scheme to improve the effectiveness of legal system development” by the Ministry of Justice in Vietnam.

NLD’s results have been positively assessed as advancing the work of legislative reform by demonstrably improving capacity of select ministries in strategic planning, policymaking and legislative drafting.


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). The project supported the development and implementation of a framework that facilitated the empowerment of lawyers in Vietnam.

In collaboration with the VBF, the following outcomes were achieved:

  • The development of stronger organizational structures
  • A national Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • The establishment of a professional development program for lawyers and aspiring 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