HÀ NỘI — A common legal aid framework, which meets international standards and is legally binding, will help protect the rights and interests of ASEAN citizens and businesses, whether in where they are, especially the most vulnerable groups, officials said.
The ASEAN Legal Forum will be a forum for ASEAN countries to exchange, discuss and share best practices and experiences on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters, it will be of great benefit to the people of ASEAN, they say.
Speaking at the ASEAN Legal Forum on the implementation of mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters in the framework of the Hague Convention on Thursday, the Deputy Minister for Law Nguyễn Khánh Ngọc said that integration in ASEAN and between ASEAN and other countries is still expanding and bringing. about the increase in cases involving foreigners.
The ASEAN Legal Forum helps bring ASEAN countries together, improve understanding and knowledge, solve problems and promote greater cooperation among countries.
Ngọc said that in the past ten years, Việt Nam has joined the Hague Convention on International Law in 2013, the Hague Convention on Child Protection and Cooperation in The Practice of Citizenship at the 2012 Hague Convention on Foreign Judicial Service. and Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters in 2016, and the Hague Convention on the Collection of Evidence Abroad in Asian or Commercial Matters in 2020.
The country has also signed 18 agreements on mutual legal assistance in bilateral trade with other countries.
In addition, Việt Nam has also strengthened research and consultation with many countries to develop and complete the law of international justice, and to improve the training law students and legal officers and judicial officers for purposes of contemporary international justice.
These efforts have helped the country deal with civil and commercial cases involving foreigners, he said.
Ngọc said that through this conference, ASEAN countries will have more useful information to think together, discuss ways to promote and strengthen cooperation for international justice, the mutual legal assistance on the international and regional level of ASEAN, and to improve its international legal framework.
Ramla Khalidi, UNDP’s Chief Resident in Việt Nam, said that more and more Vietnamese and ASEAN citizens are traveling the world, living and working abroad, marrying foreigners, and have children abroad, buy property or change their citizenship to another country.
Many Vietnamese and ASEAN businesses are involved in trade, investment, and other activities that reach beyond the country’s borders.
Although all of these events are recorded in legal documents issued by the countries where the events took place, this can create a web of problems that can lead to disputes or arise in cross-border legal issues. region.
“If these situations are not resolved, the protection of the rights and interests of those involved will be at risk, often affecting the lives of women, children and those vulnerability,” he said.
Ramla Khalidi said that as an active member of the Hague Convention on International Criminal Law and the second Hague Convention, Việt Nam has seen the benefits of the international framework for mutual legal assistance.
He expressed his hope that Việt Nam and other countries will share their experiences with fellow ASEAN members as part of this legislative session, providing their unique and useful knowledge in this area.
Ramla Khalidi also said that UNDP Việt Nam has worked with the Ministry of Justice to implement several studies on legal assistance in the past three years such as the implementation of the law on mutual legal assistance in social affairs with a view to ensuring the rights of women and children (in 2020); research on international experiences in mutual legal assistance in civil matters (in 2021) and field research on mutual legal assistance, analyzing the challenges of the first reports that twice at the local level (by 2022).
Under studies, the organization has found that women and children are among the most vulnerable groups.
Sixty to eighty percent of requests for legal aid sent or received by Việt Nam are related to marriage and family matters. In divorce and custody cases, women and children face problems while waiting for the competent authorities to process their claims. In some cases, children have been denied health care benefits because they were unable to obtain a birth certificate.
Technology was also found to play an important role in improving the efficiency of processing legal aid applications.
The need to modernize and digitize legal aid services is one that is becoming increasingly important for commercial disputes as the world of trade and commerce continues to grow. Submission of legal evidence by the jurisdiction of one country to the court of another country ensures fair trial for disputing parties in cross-border commercial disputes.
Việt Nam and the ASEAN region must take the opportunity to accelerate their transition to a digital world that is citizen-friendly and inclusive, he said. —VNS