Luật 20/2012/QH13

Law No. 20/2012/QH13 of November 20, 2012, amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Lawyers

Nội dung toàn văn Law No. 20/2012/QH13 amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law


THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness

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The Law No. 20/2012/QH13

Hanoi, November 20th 2012

 

LAW

AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING A NUMBER OF ARTICLES OF THE LAW ON LAWYERS

Pursuant to the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam 1992, amended and supplemented in the Resolution No. 51/2001/QH10;

The National Assembly promulgate the Law on amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Lawyers No. 65/2006/QH11,

Article 1.

amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Lawyers:

1. Article 3 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 3. The social position of lawyers

Lawyers’ practice shall contribute to the protection of justice, the rights to freedom and democracy of citizens, the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations, the socio-economic development, building a constitutional, socialist, democratic, equitable, and civilized nation.”

2. Article 6 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 6. The rules for managing lawyers and the practice of lawyers

1. Lawyers and their practice are managed by combining the State management with the autonomy of lawyer’s socio-professional organizations and law-practicing organizations.

2. Lawyers’s socio-professional organizations and law-practicing organizations shall manage their lawyers and their practice in accordance with this Law, the charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation, the code of ethics and professional manner of Vietnamese lawyers.

The State shall unify the management of lawyers and their practice in accordance with this Law.”

3. Article 9 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 9. Prohibited acts

1. Lawyers are prohibited to commit the following acts:

a) Providing legal services for clients that have conflicting interests in the same criminal, civil, administrative lawsuit, civil cases, or other cases as prescribed by law (hereinafter referred to as cases);

b) Deliberately providing, or guiding clients to provide, fake exhibits and documents; induce the detainees, suspects, defendants, litigants to provide false information, or induce clients to file illegal complaints, denunciations, or lawsuits;

c) Reveal information about the cases and the clients that they know during their practice, unless such clients concur in writing, or otherwise prescribed by law;

d) Harassing or deceiving clients

dd) Receiving or requesting any amount of money or benefit from clients apart from the agreed amount in the legal service contracts;

e) Cooperate with other presiding officers, litigants, officers, or officials, to violate laws when resolving cases;

g) Misusing the lawyer’s practice to negatively affect the national security and social order, to infringe the interests of the State, the public interests, and the legal interests of other organizations and individuals;

h) Receiving or requesting any amount of money or benefit when giving legal supports to the clients entitled to legal supports by statute; refusing to resolve the cases requested by legal support organizations, by the presiding agencies, except for force majeure as prescribed by law;

i) Insulting or assaulting other organizations and individuals during the proceedings;

k) Committing or helping clients to commit violations of law to delay or obstruct the activities of the presiding agencies and other State agencies.

2. Organizations and individuals are prohibited to obstruct the lawyers’ practice.”

4. Article 12 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 12. Training lawyers

1. Holders of bachelor’s degrees in law may take a lawyer course at an institution licensed to train lawyers.

2. A lawyer course lasts for 12 months.

People that complete the lawyer course shall be issued with the Certificate of completing the lawyer course by the training institution.

3. The Government shall specify the requirements of lawyer training institutions.

4. The Minister of Justice shall specify a general program for lawyer training, and the recognition of lawyer training overseas.”

5. Article 14 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 14. Lawyer apprenticeship

1. A person that have the Certificate of completing the lawyer course, and a person prescribed in Clause 2 Article 16 of this Law may serve their apprenticeship at a law-practicing organization.

The apprenticeship lasts for 12 months, except for the case prescribed in Clause 2 and Clause 3 Article 16 of this Law. The lawyer apprenticeship period starts from the day of registering at the Law federation.

The law-practicing organization shall appoint a lawyer to help the apprentice lawyer. The instructing lawyer must have at least 3 years of experience in law practicing, and not be liable for disciplinary actions as prescribed in Clause 1 Article 85 of this Law. A lawyer must not instruct more than 3 apprentices at the same time.

2. A lawyer apprentice shall register the apprenticeship at a bar association in the same locality with the law-practicing organization in which they serve the apprenticeship, and be issued with the Certificate of apprentice lawyer.

The bar association shall supervise the lawyer apprenticeship.

3. An apprentice lawyer may assists the lawyer in their professional activities, but may not represent, advocate, or protect the lawful rights and interests of clients in court, and may not sign written law consultancy.

The apprentice lawyer may go with the instructing lawyer to meet the detainees, suspects, defendants, victims, plaintiffs, and the people that have interests and obligations relevant to criminal lawsuits, the plaintiffs, defendants, and other litigants in civil cases and administrative lawsuits when they agree; assists the instructing lawyer in studying documents about the cases, collecting documents, items, and facts relevant to such cases, and in other professional activities; receive legal advices, non-proceedings representation, and provide other legal services assigned by the instructing lawyers upon the agreement of clients.

The instructing lawyer must supervise and be responsible for the activities of the apprentice lawyer prescribed in this Clause.

4. The Minister of Justice shall specify the lawyer apprenticeship.”

6. Article 15 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 15. Assessing the lawyer apprenticeship

1. The participant in the assessment of lawyer apprenticeship is the apprentice that has passed the apprenticeship period prescribed in Clause 1 Article 14 of this Law. The board of directors of the bar association shall consider and make a list of eligible participants in the assessment of lawyer apprenticeship, and send it to the Vietnam Bar Federation.

The people exempted from lawyer apprenticeship prescribed in Clause 1 Article 16 of this Law do not have to participate in the assessment of the lawyer apprenticeship.

2. The Vietnam Bar Federation shall assess the lawyer apprenticeship.

The assessment of lawyer apprenticeship is carried out by the Council of the lawyer apprenticeship assessment. The President of the Council is a President or a Deputy President of the Vietnam Bar Federation, and the members are the representative of some bar associations and some lawyers. The list of members is decided by the President of the Vietnam Bar Federation.

The person that passes the assessment of lawyer apprenticeship shall be issued with the Certificate of lawyer apprenticeship assessment.

3. The Ministry of Justice shall guide and supervise the assessment of lawyer apprenticeship.”

7. Article 16 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 16. People exempted from lawyer apprenticeship

1. People being judges, procurators, senior investigators, intermediate investigators, professors, associate professors of law, Doctors of law, senior inspectors of the court, the senior inspectors of the procuracy, senior law experts, senior law researchers, senior law lecturers are exempted from lawyer apprenticeship.

2. People being junior investigators, major inspectors of the court, major inspectors of the procuracy, law experts, researchers, lecturers are eligible for 2/3 reduction in the lawyer apprenticeship period.

3. The people that have worked as law experts, researchers, and lecturers, inspectors of the court, inspectors of the procuracy for at least 10 years are eligible for 50% reduction in lawyer apprenticeship period.”

8. Article 17 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 17. Issuing the lawyer practicing certificates

1. The person that passes the assessment of the lawyer apprenticeship shall submit a dossier of application for the lawyer practice certificate to the Board of Directors of the bar association.

The dossier includes:

a) The written application for the lawyer practicing certificate in accordance with the form issued by the Ministry of Justice;

b) The judicial résumé;

c) The health certificate;

d) A copy of the bachelor’s degree in law or master’s degree in law;

dd) A copy of the certificate of lawyer apprenticeship assessment.

Within 07 working days as from receiving the complete and valid dossier, the Board of Directors of the bar association shall send the dossier to the Service of Justice, enclosed with the written certification that the applicant for the lawyer practicing certificate is qualified as prescribed in this law.

2. The person exempted from lawyer apprenticeship shall submit a dossier of application for the lawyer practicing certificate to the local Service of Justice.

The dossier includes:

a) The papers prescribed in Point a, b, c and Clause 1 this Article;

b) The papers prescribed in Point d Clause 1 this Article, except for professors, associate professors of laws, and doctors of law;

c) The copy of the document proving the exemption from lawyer apprenticeship prescribed in Clause 1 Article 16 of this Law.

3. Within 07 working days as from receiving the complete and valid dossier, the Service of Justice shall check the dossier, verify the validity of the dossier if necessary, and send the written request enclosed with the dossier of application for the lawyer practicing certificate to the Ministry of Justice.

Within 20 days as from receiving the complete and valid dossier, the Minister of Justice shall decide the issue of the lawyer practicing certificate; the refusal must be explained and notified in writing to the applicant and the Service of Justice where the dossier of application is submitted.

The refused person may file complaints or lawsuits as prescribed by law.

4. A person shall not be issued with the lawyer practicing certificate in one of the following cases:

a) Not being qualified as a lawyer as prescribed in Article 10 of this law;

b) Being an officer, official, professional soldier or commissioned officer, national defense worker in an agency belonging to the army; a commissioned or non-commissioned officer, a worker in an agency belonging to the Police;;

c) Not residing permanently in Vietnam;

d) Being liable to criminal prosecution; has been convicted and condemned and criminal record of an unintentional or not serious crime is not expunged; has been convicted of a serious and intentional crime, a very serious and intentional crime, a particularly serious and intentional crime, even the criminal record has been expunged;

dd) Being liable to administrative actions such as compulsory attendance at detoxification centers or educational institutions;

e) Being incapable of civil acts;

g) The people prescribed in Point b this c that have been dismissed within 3 years from the decision on dismissal takes effect.”

9. Article 18 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 18. Revoking the lawyer practicing certificates

1. The lawyer practicing certificate shall be revoked in one of the following cases:

a) No longer being qualified as a lawyer as prescribed in Article 10 of this law;

b) Being recruited or appointed as an officer, official, professional soldier or commissioned officer, national defense worker in an agency belonging to the army; a commissioned or non-commissioned officer, a worker in an agency belonging to the Police;

c) No longer residing permanently in Vietnam;

d) Not joining a Bar association within 2 years as from the date of issue of the lawyer practicing certificate;

dd) Not establishing, participating in the establishment, or working under a labor contract for a law-practicing organization, or working as an independent lawyer within 03 years as from the day of joining the Bar association;

e) Voluntarily stopping practicing as a lawyer;

g) Being eliminated from the list of lawyers of a bar association;

dd) Having the lawyer practicing certificate temporarily revoked, being taken into detoxification centers or educational institutions;

i) Being convicted and the sentence has taken effect;

k) Being incapable of civil acts;

2. The Minister of Justice is entitled to revoke lawyer practicing certificates, and shall specify the procedure for revoking lawyer practicing certificates. The Decision on revoking the lawyer practicing certificate of the Minister of Justice shall be notified to the Vietnam Bar Federation for revoking the Lawyer’s card.

10. Article 19 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 19. Reissuing the lawyer practicing certificates

1. The person that has had his or her lawyer practicing certificate revoked as prescribed in Point a, b, c, e and k Clause 1 Article 18 of this law shall be considered and reissue with the lawyer practicing certificate when the standards prescribed in this Law are met and the reasons for revoking the certificate are eliminated.

2. The person that has had his or her lawyer practicing certificate revoked as prescribed in Point a, b, c, e and k Clause 1 Article 18 of this law shall be considered and reissue with the lawyer practicing certificate when the standards prescribed in this Law are met and the reasons for revoking the certificate are eliminated.

3. The person that has had his or her lawyer practicing certificate revoked as prescribed in Point g, h and i Clause 1 Article 18 of this law shall be considered and reissue with the lawyer practicing certificate when the requirements prescribed in this Article 10 are satisfied, and in one of the following cases:

a) Within 03 years as from the date of the decision on revoking the lawyer practicing certificate by reason of being eliminated from the list of lawyers of the bar association;

b) The lawyer practicing certificate revocation period has expired, or the decision on taking into detoxification centers or educational institutions is implemented;

c) The criminal records in the cases prescribed in Clause 4 this Article have been erased.

4. The person that has had his or her lawyer practicing certificate revoked by reason of being convicted of a serious an intentional crime, a very serious and intentional crime, a particularly serious and intentional crime shall not be reissued with the lawyer practicing certificate.

5. The procedure for reissuing lawyer practicing certificates are specified in Article 17 of this Law.

11. Article 20 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 20. Joining the bar association

1. The holder of the lawyer practice certificate may join a bar association for law practice.

A person that has joined a bar association must work for a law-practicing organization under a labor contract, work as an independent lawyer for a organization under a labor contract, organize, establish, or participate in the establishment of a law-practicing organization as prescribed by this law in the same locality with the bar association.

2. The holder of the lawyer practicing certificate must send an application for joining the bar association to its board of directors. The dossier includes:

a) The written application for joining the bar association in accordance with the form provided by the Vietnam Bar Federation;

b) The judicial résumé, if the dossier is submitted after 06 months as from the date of issue of the lawyer practicing certificate;

c) A copy of the lawyer practicing certificate.

3. Within 07 working days as from receiving the complete dossier, the Board of Directors of the bar association shall consider and decide the participation in the bar association. If the applicants falls into one of the cases prescribed in Clause 4 Article 7 of this Law, the Board of Directors shall reject the participation and notified the reasons in writing. The refused person is entitled to lodge complaints as prescribed in Article 87 of this law.

4. Within 07 working days as from making the decision on the participation in the bar association, the Board of Directors of the bar association shall send a written request for the Lawyer’s card to the Vietnam Bar Federation. The Lawyer’s card shall be issued within 20 days as from receiving the written request from the bar association.

The validity period of a Lawyer’s card is unlimited, and shall be replaced when it is lost or damaged.

5. Within 03 years as from the date of issue of the lawyer’s card, if the lawyer does not work for a law-practicing organization under a labor contract, nor work as an independent lawyer for a organization under a labor contract, organize, nor establish, nor participate in the establishment of a law-practicing organizations as prescribed by this law in the same locality with the bar association, or does not practice law for consecutive five years after the issue of the lawyer’s card, then the Board of Directors of the bar association shall eliminate that lawyer’s name from the list of lawyers, and request the Vietnam Bar Federation to revoke the lawyer's card.

6. A lawyer that moves to another bar association must send a written request to the bar association, of which he or she is a member, to withdraw from its lawyer list.

Within 05 working days as from receiving the written request, the Board of Directors of the bar association shall make the decision on eliminate the lawyer from its lawyer list, and send a letter of introduction enclosed with the résumé of such lawyer to the bar association which such lawyer is going to join.

“The procedure for joining a bar association and replacing the lawyer’s card are specified Clause 3 and Clause 4 this Article. While waiting for the replacement of the lawyer’s card, the lawyer may keep using the old card, and must submit it upon the replacement of the lawyer’s card.”

12. Article 21 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 21. Rights and obligations of lawyers

1. A lawyer is entitled to:

a) Have his right to practice law protected by statute as prescribed in this Law and relevant laws;

b) Represent clients as prescribed by law;

c) Practice law, choose a form of practicing law and establishing a law-practicing organization as prescribed in accordance with this Law;

d) Practice law in Vietnam’s territory;

dd) Practice law overseas,

e) Other rights prescribed in this Law.

2. A lawyer is obliged to:

a) Comply with the lawyer’s principle prescribed in Article 5 of this Law;

b) Strictly observe the relevant regulations in the relationship with presiding agencies; have a cooperative and respectful manner attitude towards the presiding officers that they contact during the practice;

c) Promptly participate in the lawsuits requested by the presiding agencies;

d) Provide legal supports;

dd) Attend compulsory training courses;

e) Other obligations as prescribed in this Law.”

13. Article 23 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 23. The forms of practicing law

A lawyer may choose one of the following two form of practicing:

1. Practicing law in a law-practicing organization by establishing or participating in the establishment of the law-practicing organization; work for a lawyer’s office under a labor contract;

2. Practice law independently as prescribed in Article 49 of this Law.”

14. Article 27 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 27. The lawyer’s participation in proceedings

1. The lawyer’s participation in proceedings must comply with the laws on proceedings and this Law.

2. When participating in proceedings as a protector of the lawful rights and interests of a litigant in a civil case, an administrative lawsuit, protecting the lawful rights and interests of a victim, a civil plaintiff, a civil defendant, and persons having relevant rights and obligations in a criminal lawsuit, the lawyer must present the lawyer’s card and the written request for a lawyer of the client.  Within 03 working days from the day the lawyer presents his or her lawyer’s card and the written request for a lawyer of the client, the presiding agency shall issue a certificate of the participation in the proceedings of the lawyers. The refusal must be notified and explained in writing.

In case a apprentice lawyer comes with an instructing lawyer in a civil case, an administrative lawsuit as prescribed in Clause 3 Article 14 of this Law, the instructing lawyer shall present the certificate of apprentice lawyer and written agreement of the client when contacting with other organizations and individuals.

3. When participating in criminal proceedings as an advocate, the lawyer shall be issued with the advocate certificate, the advocate certificate is valid during the proceedings, unless the detainee, the suspect, or the defendant refuses or requests to replace the lawyer, or the lawyer is not allowed to participate in proceedings as prescribed by law.

When applying for the advocate certificate, the lawyer shall present:

a) The lawyer’s card;

b) The written request for a lawyer of the detainee, the suspect, the defendant, or another person, or the written lawyer appointment from a law-practicing organization where such lawyer works, or the written appointment from the bar association, applicable to independent lawyers, when participating in criminal proceedings as requested by the presiding agency, or providing legal supports.

In case a apprentice lawyer comes with an instructing lawyer in a criminal lawsuit as prescribed in Clause 3 Article 14 of this Law, when applying for the advocate certificate, the instructing lawyer shall submit the certificate of apprentice lawyer and written agreement of the client to the presiding agency in order to request the permission for the presence of the apprentice.

Within 3 working days (or 24 hours in case of detention) as from receiving complete and valid papers, the presiding agency shall issue the advocate certificate to the lawyer, allowing the lawyer apprentice to participate in the case. The refusal must be notified and explained in writing. The refused person is entitled to lodge complaints as prescribed by laws on proceedings.

When contacting organizations and individuals to exercise the rights, fulfill the obligations, and do the activities relevant to the advocacy in a criminal lawsuit, the lawyer shall present his or her lawyer’s card and advocate certificate.

4. The advocate certificate is not issued in one of the following cases:

a) The detainee, the suspect, the defendant or their representatives are minors, persons who is mentally or physically unhealthy refuses lawyers;

b) The lawyer is a relative of a current or former litigant in that lawsuit;

c) The lawyer has participated in that lawsuit as a witness, a examiner, or a translator;

d) The lawyer has presiding the proceedings of that lawsuit.

5. The presiding agency, other state agencies, other organizations and individuals shall enable lawyers to exercise their rights and fulfill their obligations during their practice, and must not obstruct their practice.”

15. Article 32 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 32. The forms law-practicing organizations, the conditions for establishing law-practicing organizations

1.  Law-practicing organizations includes:

a) Lawyer’s offices;

b) Law firms

2. Law-practicing organizations are organized and operated as prescribed in this Law and relevant laws.

3. Conditions for establishing a law-practicing organization:

a) The lawyers that establish or participate in the establishment of a law-practicing organization must work for at least two consecutive years under labor contracts for a law-practicing organization, or work as independent lawyers under labor contracts for a organization as prescribed in this Law;

b) The law-practicing organization must have an office.

4. A lawyer may only establish or participate in the establishment of a law-practicing organization. When lawyers from various bar associations participate in the establishment of a law firm, that law firm may be established and registered at one of the locality in which the bar association of one of these lawyers is situated.

5. Within 30 days as from the date of issue of the certificate of registration, the lawyers that establish or participate in the establishment of the law-practicing organization, that are not members of the bar association where the law-practicing organization is situated, must join the such bar association as prescribed in Article 20 of this Law.”

16. Article 39 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 39. The rights of law-practicing organizations

1. Provide legal services.

2. Receive payments from clients.

3. Hire Vietnamese lawyers, foreign lawyers, and employees to work for the law-practicing organization.

4. Participate in formulating the State’s policies and laws; participate in advising and resolving the cases of organizations and individuals when being requested.

5. Cooperate with foreign law-practicing organizations.

6. Establish branches and offices in Vietnam.

7. Open offices overseas.

8. Other rights prescribed in this Law and relevant laws.”

17. Article 40 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 40. The obligations of law-practicing organizations

1. Operate consistently with the businesses written in the Certificate of registration.

2. Implement the agreements made with clients.

3. Appoint their lawyers to participate in proceedings according to the assignment of the bar association.

4. Enable their lawyers to provide legal supports and attend lawyer training courses.

5. Paying compensation for the damage caused to clients by their lawyers.

6. Buy professional liability insurance for their lawyer as prescribed by the laws on insurance.

7. Comply with this Law and the laws on labor, taxation, finance, and statistics.

8. Comply with the requirements of competent State agencies of reporting and inspection.

9. Admit apprentice lawyers and appoint eligible lawyers to instruct them; facilitate and supervise the apprenticeship.

10. Perform the management and ensure that their lawyers comply with law, the charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation, the code of ethics and professional manners of Vietnamese lawyers.

11. Report their organization and operation as prescribed by law.

12. Other obligations as prescribed by the relevant laws.”

18. Article 45 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 45. Consolidating, merging law-practicing organizations, and converting the ownership thereof

1. Two or more law firms of the same type may be consolidated into a new one be transferring all the assets, rights, obligations, and interests to the transferee company. The transferor companies no longer exist.

2. Two or more law firms may be merged into another law firm of the same type one be transferring all the assets, rights, obligations, and interests to the transferee company. The transferor companies no longer exist.

3. A lawyer’s office may be converted into a law firm based on the inheritance of all the rights and obligations of the lawyer’s office as prescribed by law.

A single-member limited liability law firm may be converted into a multi-member limited liability law firm, and vice versa; a limited liability law firm may be converted into a partnership and vice versa. The new law firm after the conversion shall inherit all the rights and obligations from the old one.

4. The Government shall specify the procedure for consolidating, merging law-practicing organizations, and for convertingthe ownership thereof.

19. Article 49 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 49. independent lawyers

1. An independent lawyer is a lawyer working under a labor contract for a organization that does not practice law.

2. The independent lawyer must buy professional liability insurance as prescribed by the laws on insurance business if it is agreed in the labor contract.

3. An independent lawyer must not provide legal services for other organizations and individuals than the organization with which he or she has signed the labor contract, except for the participation in criminal proceedings requested by the presiding agencies, and provide legal supports under the assignment from the bar association of which he or she is a member.”

20. Article 50 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 50. Registering the practice of independent lawyers

1. An independent lawyer shall register his or her practice at the Service of Justice in the same locality with the bar association of which he or she is a member.

An independent lawyer shall register submit the application for practicing law in accordance with the form provided by the Ministry of Justice, enclosed with the dossier, to the Service of Justice.

The dossier includes:

a) A copy of the lawyer practicing certificate, a copy of the lawyer’s card;

b) A copy of the labor contract signed with the organization.

2. Within 07 working days from receiving the complete dossier, the Service of Justice shall issue the certificate of lawyer registration; the refusal must be notified and explained in writing. The refused person is entitled to lodge complaints as prescribed by laws on proceedings.

3. The lawyer is entitled to practice law independently as from the date of issue of the certificate of lawyer registration. Within 07 working days as from the date of issue of the certificate of lawyer registration, the independent lawyer must send a written notification enclosed with a copy of the certificate of lawyer registration to the bar association of which he or she is a member.

4. The lawyer that moves to another bar association must notify the Service of Justice where he or she applied the practice, submit the certificate of lawyer registration issued, and carry out the procedure for practice registration at the Service of Justice in the same locality with the bar association to which he or she moves. the registration procedure is specified in Clause 1, 2 and 3 this Article.

When the lawyer stops practicing, the Service of Justice shall revoke the certificate of lawyer registration.

21. Article 60 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 60. The bar association

1. A bar association is a socio-professional organizations of lawyers in a central-affiliated city or province, that is organized and operated in accordance with this Law and the Charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation.   A bar association has a separate legal status, a stamp, and an account. Its cost is covered by the membership fees, the member’s contributions, and other receipts.

2. A bar association may be established in province or central-affiliated city that have at least 03 holders of the lawyer practicing certificates. People’s Committees of central-affiliated cities and provinces shall permit the establishment of bar associations after obtaining the agreement from the Minister of Justice.

3. A bar association must not issue resolutions, decisions, regulations on fees and charges, and other regulations at odds with law and the Charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation.

4. Members of a bar association are lawyers.

The rights and obligations of members of bar associations are specified by the Vietnam Bar Federation.

22. Article 61 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 61. Tasks and authority of bar associations

1. Represent and protect the lawful rights and interests of lawyers during their practice.

2. Annually review and assess the quality of lawyers; supervise and cooperate with other bar associations in supervising the compliance to law, to the Charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation, the code of ethics and professional manner of their lawyers, lawyers in law-practicing organizations, and local branches of law-practicing organizations, and take disciplinary actions.

3. Supervise and cooperate with other bar associations in supervising the activities of law-practicing organizations and their branches or offices; request law-practicing organizations to stop the violations of law, and request competent State agencies to handle.

4. Issue the certificates of apprentice lawyer and supervise the apprentice lawyers; make a list of eligible participants in the assessment of the lawyer apprenticeship, and send it to the Vietnam Bar Federation.

5. Receive and send the dossier of application for the lawyer practicing certificate to Services of Justice; request the Ministry of Justice to revoke lawyer practicing certificates.

6. Organize the registration of joining the bar associations, organize the transfer and reception of lawyers; request the Vietnam Bar Federation to issue, replace, and revoke lawyer’s cards.

7. Provide compulsory training courses in professional skills and the management of law-practicing organizations.

8. Supervise the purchase of professional liability insurance of lawyers.

9. Resolve the disputes between the apprentice lawyers, lawyers and the law-practicing organizations; between clients and law-practicing organizations and lawyers.

10. Settle the complaints and denunciations intra vires.

11. Summarize, exchange experience, take measures to improve the professional skills of lawyers.

12. Collect the opinions from lawyers.

13. Impose the fees for joining the bar association, the fees for lawyer apprenticeship based on the fee bracket provided by the Vietnam Bar Federation.

14. Report the scheme for the general meeting, the plan for the structure of the Board of Directors, the reward and discipline council.

15. Implement the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of the Vietnam Bar Federation.

16. Enable lawyers to participate in disseminating, providing law education, and legal supports.

17. Report the organization and operation of the bar association and the general meeting result to the Vietnam Bar Federation. Send the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of the bar association to the Vietnam Bar Federation in accordance with the Charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation or when being requested.

18. Reporting the organization and operation, the general meeting result to People’s Committees of central-affiliated cities and provinces; send reports to competent State agencies at their request; send the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of the bar association to People’s Committees of central-affiliated cities and provinces.

19. Other tasks and authority in accordance with the Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation.”

23. Article 65 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 65. Tasks and authority of the Vietnam Bar Federation

1. Represent and protect the lawful rights and interests of bar associations and lawyers nationwide.

2. Supervise the compliance with law and with the charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation of lawyers and bar associations; request the Ministry of Justice to revoke lawyer practicing certificates.

3. Issue and supervise the compliance with the code of ethics and professional manners of Vietnamese lawyers. The code of ethics and professional manners of Vietnamese lawyers must not contradict the Charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation.

4. Organize lawyer training; formulate programs and guide bar associations to provide compulsory courses in professional skills and the management of law-practicing organizations.

5. Assess and take responsibility for the lawyer apprenticeships as prescribed in this Law and guided by the Ministry of Justice.

6. Summarize and exchange the experience in the practice of law nationwide; Organize votes and celebrations of reputable and dedicated lawyers and law-practicing organizations.

7. Introduce the lawyers’ uniforms in court, the form of application for joining bar associations; the form of lawyer’s cards, the issue, replacement, and revocation of lawyer’s cards; guide the annual review and assessment of the lawyers’ quality.

8. Specify the exemption and reduction of fees and charges, the settlement of disputes over fees and charges of lawyers.

9. Introduce a fee bracket for lawyer apprenticeship, for joining bar associations, and membership fees.

10. Guide and supervise the fulfillment of the obligation to provide legal supports of lawyers.

11. Express opinions about the organization of general meetings, formulate plans for the structure of the Board of Directors, reward and discipline council of bar associations; direct the bar association general meetings.

12. Suspend the implementation and request the amendment of the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of bar associations that contradict the Charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation; request competent State agencies to suspend the implementation, and request the amendment of the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of bar associations that contradict law.

13. Settle the complaints and denunciations intra vires.

14. Collect the opinions from lawyers.

15. Participate in developing laws, studying law, disseminating, providing law education, and legal supports.

16. Carry out international cooperation in law practicing.

17. Cooperate with the Ministry of Justice in preparing and sending reports to competent agencies on the organization of general meetings, the plan for voting the management staff of the Vietnam Bar Federation.

18. Report the organization and activities of lawyers nationwide, the organization and operation of the Vietnam Bar Federation, the result of the Vietnam Bar Federation general meetings to the Ministry of Justice; send reports to competent State agencies at their requests; send the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of the Vietnam Bar Federation to the Ministry of Justice.

19. Other tasks and authority in accordance with the Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation.”

24. Article 67 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 67. The Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation

1. The Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation is passed according to this Law and the laws on national lawyers’ general meetings. The Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation is uniformly applied to the Vietnam Bar Federation and bar associations.

2. The Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation comprises:

a) The principles, purposes and symbol of the Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation;

b) The rights and obligations of members of the Vietnam Bar Federation;

c) The relation between the Vietnam Bar Federation and bar associations;

d) The procedure for joining bar associations, withdrawing from bar associations, and moving to other bar associations;

dd) The obligation to provide legal supports of lawyers;

e) The uniforms of lawyers in court; the form of lawyer’s cards, the issue, replacement, and revocation of lawyer’s cards;

g) The tenures, the organizational structure, the voting and discharging methods, the tasks and authority of the agencies affiliated to the Vietnam Bar Federation, bar associations; the cooperation among bar associations in managing lawyers and law-practicing organization;

h) The structure and quantity of delegates, the tasks and authority of the general meeting of lawyers, the congress of bar associations; the procedure for organizing the congress of bar associations and the Vietnam Bar Federation;

i) The regulations of bar associations;

k) The finance of the Vietnam Bar Federation and bar associations;

l) Rewarding and disciplining lawyers, settling complaints and denunciations;

m) The obligation to report the organization and operation of the Vietnam Bar Federation and bar associations;

n) The relationship with other organizations.

3. Within 03 working days as from the date of passing, the national lawyer council shall send the Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation to the Ministry of Justice for consideration and approval. Within 30 days as from receiving the charter of the Vietnam Bar Federation, the Minister of Justice shall approve it after reaching an agreement with the Minister of Internal Affairs The Charter or the Vietnam Bar Federation takes effect on the date of approval.”

25. Article 68 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 68. The conditions for practicing of foreign law-practicing organizations

The foreign law-practicing organizations that have been established and practicing legally overseas may practice in Vietnam as prescribed by this Law when the following conditions are satisfied:

1. Committed to comply with the Constitution and the law of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;

2. Committed to have at least two foreign lawyers, including the branch manager, the director of the foreign law firm who is present and practicing in Vietnam at least 183 days in consecutive 12 months;

3. The branch manager and the director of the foreign law firm in Vietnam must have at least 02 consecutive years of experience in law practicing.”

26. Article 69 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 69. The forms of practicing of foreign law-practicing organizations

1. A foreign law-practicing organization shall practice in Vietnam in the following forms:

a) A branch of a foreign law-practicing organization (hereinafter referred to as branch);

b) A 100%-foreign-capitalized limited liability company, a law firm in a limited liability partnership, a law firm in a partnership between a foreign law-practicing organization and a Vietnamese law firm partnership (hereinafter referred to as foreign law firm)

2. Foreign law firms and branches being organized an operated in accordance with this Law, the laws on enterprises, investment, and other regulations of relevant laws.

The Government shall specify the consolidation and merger of foreign law firms of the same type; the conversion of branches of foreign law-practicing organization into 100%-foreign-capitalized limited liability law firms; the conversion of foreign law firms into Vietnamese law firms; the suspension and shutdown of foreign law-practicing organization.”

27. Article 70 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 70. The scope of practicing of foreign law-practicing organizations

Foreign law firms and branches practicing in Vietnam may provide law consultancy and other legal services, must not appoint their foreign lawyers and Vietnamese lawyers to participate in proceedings as representatives, advocates, protectors of the lawful rights and interests of litigants before Vietnamese courts, or provide services of legal papers and notarization relevant to Vietnam’s law; may appoint their Vietnamese lawyers to provide advices on Vietnam’s law.

28. Article 72 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 72. Foreign law firms

1. 100%-foreign-capitalized limited liability law firms are law-practicing organizations established by one or multiple foreign law-practicing organizations in Vietnam.

A law firm in a limited liability partnership is a partnership of foreign law-practicing organizations and Vietnamese law-practicing organizations.

A law firm partnership is a partnership of foreign law-practicing organizations and Vietnamese law-practicing organizations.

2. The director of a foreign law firm is a foreign lawyer or Vietnamese lawyer.”

29. Article 74 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 74. The conditions for practicing of foreign lawyers

A foreign lawyers that satisfy the following conditions shall be issued with the License to practice law in Vietnam:

1. Having an unexpired lawyer practicing certificate issued by a foreign competent agency;

2. Experienced in giving advices on foreign law and international law;

3. Committed to comply with the Constitution and law of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the code of ethics and professional manners of Vietnamese lawyers;

4. Being appointed by a foreign law-practicing organization to practice in Vietnam, or employed by a branch, a foreign law firm in Vietnam, or a Vietnamese law-practicing organization.”

30. Article 76 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 76. The scope of practicing of foreign lawyers

Foreign lawyers practicing in Vietnam may give advices on foreign law and international law, may provide other legal services relating to foreign law, may give advices on Vietnam’s law if they have a bachelor’s degree in law of Vietnam  and satisfy the requirements applicable to Vietnamese lawyers; may not participate in proceedings as representatives, advocates, protectors of the lawful rights and interests of litigants before Vietnamese courts.”

31. Article 82 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 82. Issuing and extending Licenses to practice law in Vietnam

1. A foreign lawyer practicing in Vietnam shall send a dossier of application for the License to practice law in Vietnam to the Ministry of Justice. Within 30 working days from receiving the complete, valid dossier and the fee, the Ministry of Justice shall issue the License to practice law in Vietnam to the foreign lawyer; the refusal must be notified and explained in writing.

2. The License to practice law in Vietnam of a foreign lawyer is valid for five years and may be extended. Each extension does not exceed five years.

3. The License to practice law in Vietnam of a foreign lawyer is a substitute for the work permit as prescribed by Vietnam’s laws on issuing work permits to foreign citizens working in Vietnam.

4. The dossier of application for the License to practice law in Vietnam includes:

a) The written application for the License to practice law in Vietnam;

b) The papers proving that he or she is a lawyer of a foreign law-practicing organization and is appointed to practice in Vietnam, or papers proving the employment of a branch, a foreign law firm in Vietnam, or a Vietnamese law-practicing organization for which he or she plans to work;

c) A copy of the lawyer practicing certificate; a summary of the professional records; the sheet of judicial résumé or substitute papers.

5. The dossier of application for the extension of the License to practice law in Vietnam must be sent to the Ministry of Justice at least 30 days before the License expires. The dossier includes:

a) The written application for the extension of the License to practice law in Vietnam, certified by the foreign law-practicing organization or the Vietnamese law-practicing organization;

b) The original License to practice law in Vietnam;

c) The opinion from the Service of Justice about the practice of the foreign lawyer in Vietnam.

Within 07 working days from receiving the complete and valid dossier, the Ministry of Justice shall decide the extension of the License to practice law in Vietnam of the foreign lawyer; the refusal must be notified and explained in writing.

32. Article 83 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 83. The responsibility of State management of lawyers and their practice

1. The Government shall unify the management of lawyers and their practice.

2. The Ministry of Justice is responsible before the Government for the State management of lawyers and their practice, and have the following tasks and authority:

a) Formulate and submit the strategy for develop the practice of law to the Government, introduce policies on supporting the bar associations of provinces suffering from severe difficulties, and other policies on supporting the practice of law;

b) Formulate and promulgate, or request competent State agencies to promulgate the documents on detailing and guiding the implementation of the laws on lawyers;

c) License the establishment of lawyer training institutions, the framework lawyer training program; stipulate the regime for compulsory training in professional skills of lawyers; cooperate with the Ministry of Finance in imposing tuition fees; manage and organize the lawyer training;

d) Issue and revoke lawyer practicing certificates;

dd) Issue, revoke, and extend Licenses to practice law in Vietnam of foreign lawyers;

e) Issue and revoke Licenses to establish foreign law-practicing organizations in Vietnam;

g) Summarize and send reports on the organization of lawyers and their practice to the Government;

h) Carry out inspection, handle violations, settle complaints and denunciation against lawyers and their practice; the organization and operation of foreign law-practicing organizations and foreign lawyers in Vietnam;

i) Take measures for supporting the development of law practice;

k) Perform the State management of the international cooperation in law practicing;

l) Suspend the assessment, annul the results of the assessment of lawyer apprenticeship when discovering serious violations of law according to this Law and other relevant laws;

m) Suspend the implementation and request the amendment of the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of the Vietnam Bar Federation that contradict this Law;

n) Other tasks and authority prescribed in this Law.

3. The Ministries, ministerial-level agencies, within the ambit of their tasks and authority, are responsible for cooperating with the Ministry of Justice in the State management of lawyers and their practice.

4. People’s Committees of central-affiliated cities and provinces shall perform the State management of lawyers and their practice locally, and have the following tasks and authority:

a) Approve the establishment of bar associations, decide the dissolution of bar associations after obtaining the agreement from the Minister of Justice;

b) Approve the scheme for organize the general meetings of bar associations;

c) Issue and revoke certificate of registration of Vietnamese law-practicing organizations and foreign law-practicing organizations in Vietnam;

d) Carry out inspection, handle violations, settle complaints and denunciation against organization and operation of local bar associations, local Vietnamese law-practicing organizations, foreign law-practicing organizations, and foreign lawyers in Vietnam;

dd) Suspend the implementation and request the amendment of the resolutions, decisions, and regulations of bar associations that contradict this Law;

e) Periodically report the organization and practice of lawyers in Vietnam, the organization and operation of local foreign law-practicing organizations and local foreign lawyers in Vietnam to the Ministry of Justice;

g) Take measures for supporting the practice of lawyers locally;

h) Other tasks and authority prescribed in this Law.

Services of Justice shall assists People’s Committees of central-affiliated cities and provinces in performing the State management of lawyers and their practice locally.”

33. Article 89 is amended and supplemented as follows:

“Article 89. Handling the violations committed by lawyers

1. Vietnamese lawyers that violate this Law, apart from being disciplined, shall be liable to administrative penalties or criminal prosecution, depending on the nature and seriousness of the violations, and pay compensation for the damage (if any).

2. Foreign lawyers in Vietnam that violate this Law shall be liable to administrative penalties or criminal prosecution, depending on the nature and seriousness of the violations, and pay compensation for the damage (if any).

When a foreign lawyer violates the code of ethics and professional manners of Vietnamese lawyers, the Ministry of Justice shall notify the foreign law-practicing organization that appoints such lawyer to practice in Vietnam, or the Vietnamese law-practicing organization that employs such lawyer, and revoke or refuse to extend the License to practice law in Vietnam, depending on the nature and seriousness of the violations.”

34. Article 92a is added after Article 92 as follows:

Article 92a.  Transitional provisions

1. Within one year as from the date of effective of this Law, lawyers being members of another bar association than the bar association in the same locality with the law-practicing organization or a branch of the law-practicing organization that they establish or establish in cooperation, or with the law-practicing organization, or a organization with which they sign labor contracts, must moves to the bar association prescribed in Article 20 of this Law. The lawyers that moves to other bar associations as prescribed in this law are exempted from paying the joining fee.

The bar associations must enable the lawyers to moves as prescribed in this Law.

2. Within two year as from the date of effective of this Law, the independent lawyers prescribed in the Law on lawyers No . 65/2006/QH11 must establish or participate in the establishment of law-practicing organizations, or work for law-practicing organizations under labor contracts, or work for other organizations under labor contracts, and apply for the registration as prescribed by this law. The lawyers applying for the registration prescribed in this Clause are exempted from paying the registration fee.

3. Within two year as from the date of effective of this Law, foreign law-practicing organizations that have been issued with the licenses to establish foreign law firms or branches must satisfy the conditions prescribed in Article 68 of this Law, or shut down otherwise.”

35. The phrase “a copy of the lawyer practicing certificate” prescribed in Point d Clause 3 Article 78 of the Law on Lawyers No. 65/2006/QH11 is removed.

36. Article 8, Article 52, and Article 63 of the Law on Lawyers No. 65/2006/QH11 are annulled.

37. In the Law on Lawyers No. 65/2006/QH11, the phrase “National Bar Organization” is replaced with “The Vietnam Bar Federation”; the phrase “the management of lawyers' practice” is replaced with “the management of lawyers’ and their practice; the phrase “code of ethics and professional manners of lawyers” is replaced with “code of ethics and professional manners of Vietnamese lawyers”; the phrase “free legal support” is replaced with “legal support”.

Article 2.

1. This Law takes effect on July 01st 2013.

2. The Government and competent agencies shall specify and guide the implementation of the appointed Articles and Clauses in this Law.

This Law is passed by the 8thNational Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the 4th session on November 20th 2012.

 

 

THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY




Nguyen Sinh Hung

 


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          Law No. 20/2012/QH13 amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law
          Loại văn bảnLuật
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