Appointed councels in Vietnamese criminal laws and practice
Article 57 of the Vietnam Criminal Procedure Code provides for the responsibilities of litigation agencies to appoint counsel to represent accused or offender in cases which accused of the crimes are subject to capital or live sentence, and juvenile delinquent or offender with physical or mental defects. This provision of “Appointed Counsel” can be seen as a legitimate mechanism, among others, to realize the right of counsel as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("ICCPR"), which Vietnam accessed and rectified since September 1982. This unprecedented study report provides invaluable insights on how well functioning legal and institutional arrangements have ensured such rights to be properly realized in practice. Its findings are drawn from thorough review of the current legislation, analysis of the data gathering from all 62 existing bar associations and interviews of multi-stakeholders and informants at 9 selected provinces across the country. The report concludes with practical suggestions on ways forwards for the enhancement of its realization in line with the current legal and judicial reform in Vietnam.