At the seminar (Source: kiemsat.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Ensuring the principle of presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings was the topic of a seminar co-hosted by the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Embassies of Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland (G4) in Hanoi on May 31.

The event introduced approaches to ensure respect for the principle of the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings and shared good practices and experiences on how to ensure; fairness in criminal proceedings.

It also provided a forum for practitioners (including police, defence lawyers, procurators, and judges) and scholars to discuss how to implement the new provisions of the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code of  Vietnam and follow due process in the judicial process.

Speaking at the seminar, Tran Cong Phan, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, said the Criminal Procedure Code has the duties to ensure that all offences shall be correctly discovered and fairly, promptly handled; to hinder and prevent crime; to avoid omission of crime, not let innocent person suffers from miscarriage of justice; and to make a contribution to uphold of justice, protection of human rights, citizen rights.

"Principle of presumption of innocence is institutionalised from regulations of the 2013 Constitution. It is an important principle for respecting and protecting human rights, citizen rights in criminal proceedings,” he said.

“The G4 is proud to support Vietnam’s efforts toward ensuring that due process and the presumption of innocence under Vietnam’s 2015 Criminal Procedure Code are better understood by legal practitioners.  These principles are fundamental to justice and the development of a prosperous society” said Ping Kitnikone, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam, Chair of G4. 

In his opening remarks, Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, noted: “While the presumption of innocence is a simple principle to understand, its legal and practical application has faced challenges. The new Code of Criminal Procedure will contribute in some ways to improving the application of presumption of innocence”.

The four embassies are long-standing political, economic and development partners of Vietnam. The principle of presumption of innocence is stated in Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution and in the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code.-VNA