Directive No. 05/2000/CT-TTg of March 1, 2000, on strengthening legal assistance work
THE PRIME MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness
Hanoi, March 1, 2000
ON STRENGTHENING LEGAL ASSISTANCE WORK
During the recent past, thanks to the efforts of the ministries and branches and the People’s Committees of different levels, the free-of-charge legal assistance work has been carried out diligently, seriously and effectively, creating conditions for many poor people and beneficiaries of social policies to better understand law and helping them to defend their legitimate rights and interests.
The legal assistance work has been directly guiding the people to live and work according to the Constitution and law, fulfill their civic duties, preserve solidarity within the community, ensure actual respect for the citizens’ rights, thus contributing to stabilizing social order and strengthening the people’s confidence in the State and law, and promoting social and economic progress. Although the ministries and branches and the People’s Committees of different levels have of late paid more attention to the investment in and assistance to this activity, it has in actuality not received due attention, the contingent of assistant specialists is still deficient compared to the assigned task, in many places there are not yet proper offices for the people to come for help. A number of provinces have even not yet set up the legal assistance centers... At the same time, coordination among the agencies, offices and branches and related organizations in ensuring the conditions for legal assistance work is not yet close enough and has not become a concrete and permanent mechanism. That is why free-of-charge legal assistance to various objects of this work is still limited and has not fully developed its desired effect.
In order to continue promoting and heightening the effectiveness of legal assistance in the coming period and meet the diversified and ever increasing need of the population, and to affirm the crucial role of the State in the legal assistance to poor people and beneficiaries of social policies and also to enlist the participation of the mass and social organizations and the community, the Prime Minister instructs:
1. The ministries, the ministerial-level agencies, the agencies attached to the Government, the People’s Committees of various levels and the related agencies and organizations must have a firm grasp of the Party’s viewpoint on legal assistance work. Legal assistance is the responsibility of the State toward citizens. It aims to defend the legal system, defend the interests of the State, of society and of citizens. This is an important work in the overall policy of exercising democracy at the grassroots, strengthening discipline and public order and achieving social justice.
2. The Ministry of Justice is the place to coordinate the various ministries, branches, agencies and related organizations in the effective discharge of their function of State management over the legal assistance work; to guide the local legal agencies and legal assistance organizations to step up their professional activities; urgently elaborate the Project of setting up the Legal Assistance Fund, broaden and effectively develop their cooperative relations with organizations and individuals in the country and abroad in order to provide legal assistance and professional and specialized guidance for the legal assistance organizations belonging to socio-political organizations.
The ministries, the ministerial-level agencies, the agencies attached to the Government, the People�s Committees of various levels and their dependent units, on receiving written petitions of legal assistance organizations, must examine and settle them in time and answer in writing within 30 days after the reception.
3. The Government Commission for Organization and Personnel and the Ministry of Justice shall coordinate with the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities and adopt timely plans to organize the staff within the total personnel assigned to the People’s Committees, strengthen the organization of the Legal Assistance Centers and effectively meet the need in legal assistance of the concerned persons.
Besides building a contingent of legal assistance specialists, the Ministry of Justice shall have to direct the use of the network of collaborators, broaden and heighten the quality of the legal assistance service down to the district and commune levels, so that the poor and the beneficiaries of social policies in the deep-lying, highland and remote regions can really receive legal assistance.
Legal assistance specialists and collaborators have the duty to unceasingly study and improve their professional knowledge and skills, devotedly serve the people, preserve and improve their professional ethics in legal assistance.
4. The Ministry of Culture and Information, the Vietnam Television and the Voice of Vietnam Radio shall have to coordinate with the Ministry of Justice in directing the widespread and free-of-charge popularization of information on the organization and activities of legal assistance on the mass media in order to inform the people of this activity, and step by step establish special pages and sections on free-of-charge legal assistance with an appropriate time length.
5. The Ministry of Finance shall assume the main responsibility and coordinate with the Ministry of Justice in guiding the application of the financial regime so that the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities can ensure that the Legal Assistance Centers have the necessary material bases and other working conditions.
6. The People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall have to guide and urge the Justice Services, the Administration Organization Committees and the Finance Services and related units in the localities to coordinate and create favorable conditions for the Legal Assistance Centers to carry out effectively this work in the localities.
In the provinces where Legal Assistance Centers are not yet set up, the provincial People’s Committee must urgently adopt plans to set them up and create conditions for the Centers to go into operation at an early date.
7. The Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the social-political organizations and the mass organizations should actively coordinate in effectively carrying out the legal assistance work.
Upon receiving this Directive, the ministers, the heads of ministerial-level agencies and agencies attached to the Government, and the Presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities should adopt concrete plans to deploy the above-mentioned works.
The Ministry of Justice shall have to monitor, stimulate and inspect the implementation of this Directive and report to the Prime Minister.
THE PRIME MINISTER
Phan Van Khai