To achieve SDG16, Viet Nam has committed to reforming its judicial system. For the first time, adversarial principles were introduced in the 2013 Constitution. Then in 2015, Viet Nam adopted the revised Criminal Procedure Code with more rights for lawyers and the accused.
Ever since 2016, UNDP has partnered with two leading law universities in Viet Nam to raise awareness and support lawyers from bar associations across the country in giving effect to these new provisions, with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. A practical skills handbook was developed to help strengthen adversarial skills for lawyers and law students. UNDP and partner in Ho Chi Minh City also piloted a meaningful program to provide legal aid for prisoners and the recently released in the southern provinces.