The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is the legal document of highest legal jurisdiction in Viet Nam’s legal system. The current 2013 Constitution (amended) was adopted by the National Assembly during the 6thSession of the 13thNational Assembly in 2013, perpetuating the 1946, 1959, 1980 and 1992 Constitutions (amended in 2001 at the 10th Session of the 10thNational Assembly) with a view to achieve the goal of a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and civilized country.
The 2013 Constitution (amended) consists of a Preamble and 11 Chapters with 120 Articles. It clearly stipulates the country’s political regime: the National Assembly, the State President, the Government, the People’s Court and People’s Procuracy, the local authority, the National Election Council, the State Audit; human rights, basic rights and duties of Vietnamese citizens, economic, social, cultural, educational, scientific, technological and environmental affairs, safeguard of the Fatherland, the effect of the Constitution and its amendment.
The Constitution clearly indicates that the State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is a socialist state ruled by law and of the people, by the people and for the people. The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is the country where the people are the masters; all the state power belongs to the people and is based on the alliance of the working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia.
The state power is unified and delegated to state agencies which coordinate with and control one another in the exercise of the legislative, executive and judicial powers. The people exercise the state power in the form of direct democracy and of representative democracy through the National Assembly, People's Councils and other state agencies.
The State is organized and operates in accordance with the Constitution and law, manages society by the Constitution and law, and implements the principle of democratic centralism. The State guarantees and promotes the people's right to mastery. All ethnicities are equal and unite with, respect and assist one another for mutual development.
The Constitution provides that in the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, human rights and citizens' rights in the political, civil, economic, cultural and social fields are recognized, respected, protected and guaranteed in accordance with the Constitution and law. Male and female citizens have equal rights in all fields. Everyone has the right to freedom of belief and religion, and has the right to follow any religion or to follow no religion. Citizens have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and have the right of access to information, the right to assembly, the right to association, the right to demonstrate, the right to freedom of movement and residence within Viet Nam…The exercise of those rights is prescribed by law.
The political system:
The political system of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam consists of the components constituting political power as follows:
The Communist Party of Viet Nam - the Vanguard of the working class, concurrently the vanguard of the laboring people and Vietnamese nation, faithfully representing the interests of the working class, laboring people and entire nation, and acting upon the Marxist - Leninist doctrine and Ho Chi Minh Thought, is the force leading the State and society.
The people in the political system: as the maker of history, the people constitute the decisive force in the process of social evolution and make up the current political system in Viet Nam. All state power belongs to the people. The State regulates the society by laws under the leadership of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.
The State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is the central organization and the pillar of the political system that realizes the will and power of the people, acts on behalf of the people and is accountable to the people for the management of all activities of the social life and in domestic and external affairs.
The National Assembly is the highest - level representative body of the people and the highest state power body of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. The National Assembly exercises constitutional and legislative powers, decides on important issues for the country, and conducts the supreme oversight over the activities of the State.
a) Tasks and powers: To make and amend the Constitution; to make and amend laws; To exercise the power of supreme oversight over the observance of the Constitution, laws and resolutions of the National Assembly…; To decide on the country's major goals, targets, policies and tasks for socio - economic development; To decide on fundamental national financial and monetary policies…; to decide on the establishment or abolition of ministries or ministerial - level agencies of the Government… and to decide on fundamental foreign policies…
b) The term of the National Assembly is five years.
c) A Deputy to the National Assembly is a Vietnamese citizen from 21 years old elected by voters based on his virtue, qualification and capacity. A Deputy to the National Assembly represents the will and aspirations of the people not only in his constituency but in the whole country. A Deputy to the National Assembly must maintain close ties with voters, be supervised by voters, raise the people’s understanding about the Constitution and the law and advocate the serious implementation of these legal documents.
d) The President and Vice President of the National Assembly are Deputies elected by the National Assembly during the first session of each legislature. The Vice Presidents work as aides to the President under the President’s assignment.
e) The Standing Committee of the National Assembly is the standing body of the National Assembly including the President of the National Assembly, Vice Presidents and other committee members, in charge of: preparing, convening and chairing the National Assembly’s session; promulgating ordinances on the matters assigned by the National Assembly; interpreting the Constitution, laws and ordinances; overseeing the implementation of Constitution, laws and resolutions of the National Assembly, ordinances, resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly; overseeing the operation of the Government, Supreme Court, Supreme Procuracy, State Audit and other agencies established by the National Assembly; handling external relations of the National Assembly.
g) The Ethnic Council is composed of the Chairperson,Vice Chairpersons and members. The Chairperson of the Ethnic Council is elected by the National Assembly; Vice Chairpersons and members of the Ethnic Council are approved by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. The Ethnic Council studies and makes proposals on ethnic issues to the National Assembly; exercises the power of overseeing the implementation of policies on ethnic groups, programs and plans for socio-economic development in mountainous and ethnic minority areas.
h) The specialized Committees of the National Assembly include: Committee on Laws; Committee on Judicial Affairs; Committee on Economic Affairs; Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs; Committee on National Defense and Security; Committee on Culture, Education, Adolescents, and Children; Committee on Social Affairs; Committee on Science, Technology, and Environment; and Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The State President is the Head of State and represents the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam internally and externally. The President is elected by the National Assembly from among its deputies. His or her term of office follows the term of the National Assembly.
The President has six tasks and powers: (i) To promulgate the Constitution, laws and ordinances…; (ii) To propose to the National Assembly to elect, relieve from duty or remove from office the Vice President or Prime Minister…; (iii) To propose the National Assembly to elect, relieve from duty or remove from office the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court or Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuracy…; (iv) To decide on the award of orders, medals, state prizes or state honorary titles…; (v) To receive foreign ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary; based on resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, to appoint, relieve from duty; decide to send or recall ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam…; (vi) To assume command of the people's armed forces and hold the office of Chairperson of the National Defense and Security Council…
The State President is the Chairperson of the National Defense and Security Council, which includes the Prime Minister as the Vice Chairperson and 4 other members. The list of members of the National Defense and Security Council is submitted by the State President to the National Assembly for approval.
The Government is the highest state administrative body of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, exercises executive power, and is the executive body of the National Assembly. The Government is responsible to the National Assembly and reports on its work to the National Assembly, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and the President. The Government is composed of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, and Heads of ministerial - level agencies. The Prime Minister is the head of the Government and responsible to the National Assembly for the work of the Government and assigned tasks; and report on the work of the Government and the Prime Minister to the National Assembly, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and the President. The term of the Government follows the term of the National Assembly.
The Government has the following tasks and powers: (i) To organize the implementation of the Constitution, laws and resolutions of the National Assembly, ordinances and resolutions of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, and orders and decisions of the President…; (ii) To propose and formulate policies to be submitted to the National Assembly or the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for decision…; (iii) To perform the unified management of the economy, culture, social affairs, education, health, science, technology, environment, information, communications, external relations, national defense, national security, and social order and safety…; (iv) To propose the National Assembly for decision the establishment or abolition of ministries or ministerial - level agencies…; (v) To perform the unified management of the national administration system…; (vi) To protect the rights and interests of the State and society, human rights and citizens' rights; and to ensure social order and safety; (vii) To negotiate and conclude treaties in the name of the State, as authorized by the President…; (viii) To coordinate with the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and central bodies of the socio - political organizations in the performance of the tasks and the exercise of the powers of the Government.
The People’s Courts are the judicial bodies of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and exercise judicial power. The People's Courts include the Supreme People's Court and other Courts prescribed by a law. The People's Courts have the duty to safeguard justice, human rights, citizens' rights, the socialist regime, the interests of the State, and the rights and legitimate interests of organizations and individuals. The Supreme People's Court is the highest judicial body of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. The Supreme People's Court supervises the judicial work of other Courts, unless otherwise prescribed by a law. The Supreme People's Court makes overall assessment of adjudicating practices, ensuring the uniform application of law in trial. The term of office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court follows the term of the National Assembly.
The People’s Procuracies exercise the power to prosecute and supervise judicial activities. The People's Procuracies include the Supreme People's Procuracy and other Procuracies as prescribed by a law. The People's Procuracies have the duty to safeguard the law, human rights, citizens' rights, the socialist regime, the interests of the State, and the rights and legitimate interests of organizations and individuals, thus contributing to ensuring the strict and unified observance of the law. The term of office of the Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuracy follows the term of the National Assembly.
Political - social organizations and mass organizations: The Viet Nam Fatherland Front is a political alliance and a voluntary union of the political organization, socio - political organizations and social organizations, and prominent individuals representing their class, social strata, ethnicity or religion and overseas Vietnamese. The Viet Nam Fatherland Front constitutes the political base of the people's administration; represents and protects the rights and lawful and legitimate interests of the people; rallies and upholds the strength of the great national unity, exercises democracy and promotes social consensus; conducts social supervision and criticism; and participates in the building of the Party and the State, and in people's external relations' activities, thus contributing to national construction and defense. The Trade Union of Viet Nam, the Viet Nam Peasants' Association, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Viet Nam Women's Union and the Viet Nam War Veterans' Association are socio - political organizations established on a voluntary basis to represent and protect the rights and lawful and legitimate interests of their members; and together with other member organizations of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front coordinate and unify action within the Front. The Viet Nam Fatherland Front, its member organizations and other social organizations operate within the framework of the Constitution and the law.
Source: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs