US acting vice ambassador to Vietnam Brett Blackshaw speaks at the seminar on October 3 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Law experts of Vietnam and the US are taking part in a seminar that opened in Hanoi on October 3 to gain an insight into each country’s criminal laws and judicial procedures and share experience in law enforcement.

Trinh Xuan Toan, head of the Office of Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform, said the two-day seminar is the first of its kind on criminal laws and judicial procedures between Vietnam and the US. It is part of activities to implement the two countries’ cooperation in human rights and judicial reforms promotion, and law enforcement and criminal justice support, agreed during a visit to Vietnam by then US President Barack Obama in May 2016.

He stressed that judicial reform is one of the critical tasks in the building of a socialist law-governed State of the people, by the people and for the people. Since a judicial reform strategy was issued over 10 years ago, Vietnam has amended and issued a number of legal documents on the apparatus of agencies with judicial activities. It has also revised policies on the training, selection and appointment of judicial officials.

Judicial activities have had better quality and approached the targets of protecting justice, human rights and the rights and legitimate interests of agencies, organisations and individuals, he added.

Brett Blackshaw, US acting vice ambassador to Vietnam, welcomed Vietnam’s efforts in law system perfection and judicial reforms to better ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms for all people in line with the 2013 Constitution.

The US government pledges to provide maximal assistance for Vietnam in judicial reforms so as to enhance the two countries’ relations, he noted.

At the two-day seminar, the Office of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform will give an overview of Vietnam’s criminal justice system and new revisions to the Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code and relevant legal documents. US experts will talk about ensuring equality among parties during trials at US courts, operations of investigation and prosecution agencies, and the apparatus and operations of agencies with legal aid activities, among others.

Participants are set to discuss issues of shared concern, including Vietnam’s criminal laws and judicial procedures and the US’s experience in criminal justice. They will also suggest solutions to increase the quality of criminal justice law enforcement in Vietnam.-VNA