CHAPTER II FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
Article 3.- Guarantee of the socialist legislation in the criminal procedure
All criminal proceedings of procedure-conducting bodies and persons and participants in the procedure must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of this Code.
Article 4.- Respect for, and defense of, fundamental rights of citizens
When conducting the procedure, the heads and deputy heads of investigating bodies, investigators, chairmen and deputy chairmen of procuracies, procurators, presidents and vice-presidents of courts, judges and jurors must, within the scope of their respective responsibilities, respect and protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, regularly examine the lawfulness and necessity of the applied measures, promptly cancel or change such measures if deeming that they are in violation of law or no longer needed.
Article 5.- Guarantee of all citizens right to equality before law
The criminal procedure shall be conducted on the principle that all citizens are equal before law, regardless of their nationality, sex, belief, religion, social strata and social position. Any person committing an offense shall be handled according to law.
Article 6.- Guarantee of citizens right to body inviolability
Nobody shall be arrested without a court decision, decision made or approved by the procuracies, except for cases where offenders are caught red-handed.
Arrest and detention of people must comply with the provisions of this Code.
All forms of coercion and corporal punishment are strictly forbidden.
Article 7.- Protection of life, health, honor, dignity and property of citizens
Citizens have the right to have their life, health, honor, dignity and property protected by law.
All acts of infringing upon the life, health, honor, dignity and/or property shall be handled according to law.
Victims, witnesses and other participants in the procedure as well as their relatives, when their life and health are endangered, their honor, dignity and/or property are infringed upon, shall be protected by competent procedure-conducting bodies through applying necessary measures according to law.
Article 8.- Guarantee of the citizens right to residence inviolability, safety and confidentiality of correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphs
Nobody is permitted to infringe upon the residence, safety and confidentiality of correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphs of citizens.
While conducting the procedure, the search of residence, search, seizure and forfeiture of correspondence and telegraphs must comply with the provisions of this Code.
Article 9.- No person shall be considered guilty until a court judgment on his/her criminality takes legal effect
No person shall be considered guilty and be punished until a court judgment on his/her criminality takes legal effect.
Article 10.- Determination of facts of criminal cases
Investigating bodies, procuracies and courts must apply every lawful measure to determine the facts of criminal cases in an objective, versatile and full manner, to make clear evidences of crime and evidences of innocence, circumstances aggravating and extenuating the criminal liabilities of the accused or defendants.
The responsibility to prove offenses shall rest with the procedure-conducting bodies. The accused or defendants shall have the right but not be bound to prove their innocence.
Article 11.- Guarantee of the right to defense of detainees, accused and defendants
The detainees, accused and defendants shall have the right to defend by themselves or ask other persons to defend them.
Investigating bodies, procuracies and courts shall have the duty to ensure that the detainees, accused and defendants exercise their right to defense under the provisions of this Code.
Article 12.- Responsibilities of procedure-conducting bodies and persons
In the course of conducting the procedure, the procedure-conducting bodies and persons must strictly implement law provisions and take responsibility for their acts and decisions.
Those who act against law in making arrest, detention, seizure, instituting, investigating, prosecuting and/or adjudicating criminal cases and/or executing judgments shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, be disciplined or examined for penal liability.
Article 13.- Responsibility to institute and handle criminal cases
Upon detecting criminal signs, the investigating bodies, procuracies or courts shall, within the scope of their respective tasks and powers, have to institute criminal cases and apply measures provided for by this Code to determine offenses and handle offenders.
Criminal cases must not be instituted except on the grounds and in the order provided for by this Code.
Article 14.- Guarantee of the impartiality of persons conducting or participating in the procedure
The heads and deputy heads of investigating bodies, investigators, chairmen and vice-chairmen of procuracies, procurators, presidents and vice-presidents of courts, judges, jurors and court clerks must not conduct the procedure or interpreters and experts must not participate in the procedure if there are plausible grounds to believe that they may not be impartial while performing their duties.
Article 15.- Implementation of the regime of trial with the participation of jurors
The trial by people’s courts or military courts shall be participated by people’s jurors or military jurors respectively in accordance with the provisions of this Code. In the course of trial, jurors shall be equal in rights to judges.
Article 16.- Judges and jurors conduct trial independently and abide by law only
During trial, judges and jurors are independent and abide by law only.
Article 17.- Courts conduct trial collectively
Courts shall conduct trial collectively and make decisions by majority.
Article 18.- Public trial
Courts shall conduct trial in public, everybody shall have the right to attend such trial, unless otherwise prescribed by this Code.
In special cases where State secrets should be kept or the fine national customs and practices should be preserved or the involved parties secrets must be kept at their legitimate requests, courts shall conduct trial behind closed door but must pronounce the judgments publicly.
Article 19.- Guarantee of equal right before court
Procurators, defendants, defense counsels, victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases and their lawful representatives and defense counsels of interests of the involved parties shall all have the equal rights to present evidences, documents and objects, make claims and argue democratically before court. Courts shall have to create conditions for them to exercise these rights with a view to clarifying the objective truths of the cases.
Article 20.- To implement the two-level trial regime
1. Courts shall implement the two-level trial regime.
First-instance judgments and decisions of courts may be appealed or protested against under the provisions of this Code.
First-instance judgments and decisions, if not appealed or protested against within the time limits prescribed by this Code, shall be legally valid. For first-instance judgments or decisions which are appealed or protested against, the cases must be brought to appellate trial. Appellate judgments and decisions shall be legally valid.
2. For legally valid court judgments and decisions, if law violations are detected or new circumstances emerge, they shall be reviewed according to the cassation or re-opening procedures.
Article 21.- Trial supervision
Superior courts shall supervise the trial by subordinate courts. The Supreme People’s Court shall supervise the trial by people’s courts and military courts at all levels in order to ensure the strict and uniform application of laws.
Article 22.- Guarantee of the validity of court judgments and decisions
1. Legally valid court judgments or decisions must be executed and respected by agencies, organizations and all citizens. The concerned individuals, agencies and organizations must, within the scope of their respective responsibilities, strictly execute or serve the court judgments and decisions and take responsibility before law for their execution or serving.
2. Within the scope of their respective responsibilities, State agencies, commune, ward and township administrations, organizations and citizens must coordinate with the agencies and organizations tasked to execute court judgments and decisions in the execution thereof.
State agencies and commune, ward and township administrations shall have to create conditions for, and comply with the requests of, agencies and organizations tasked to execute court judgments and decisions in the execution thereof.
Article 23.- Exercise of the right to prosecute and supervise law observance in the criminal procedure
1. Procuracies shall exercise their right to prosecute in the criminal procedure and decide to prosecute offenders before court.
2. Procuracies shall supervise the law observance in the criminal procedure and have the duty to detect in time law violations committed by procedure-conducting bodies or persons as well as participants in the procedure, and apply measures prescribed by this Code to preclude law violations by these bodies or individuals.
3. Procuracies shall exercise their right to prosecute and supervise the law observance in the criminal procedure in order to ensure that all criminal acts be handled in time; the institution, investigation, prosecution and trial of criminal cases as well as execution of judgments be conducted against the right persons and right offenses, not omitting offenses and offenders, not letting injustice be done on the innocent.
Article 24.- Spoken and written language used in the criminal procedure
Spoken and written language used in the criminal procedure is Vietnamese. Participants in the criminal procedure may use spoken and written languages of their own nationalities; in this case, interpreters shall be required.
Article 25.- Responsibilities of organizations and citizens in the struggle to prevent and fight crimes
1. Organizations and individuals shall have the right as well as obligation to detect and denounce criminal acts; participate in the struggle to prevent and fight crimes, contributing to protecting the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations.
2. Procedure-conducting bodies shall have to create conditions for organizations and citizens to participate in the criminal procedure; must inform the results of processing the reported information on and denunciations of crimes to the reporting organizations or denouncers.
3. Organizations and citizens shall have to abide by the requests of, and create conditions for, the procedure-conducting bodies and persons to perform their duties.
Article 26.- Coordination between State agencies and procedure-conducting bodies
1. Within the scope of their respective responsibilities, State agencies must apply measures to prevent crimes; coordinate with investigating bodies, procuracies and courts in the struggle to prevent and fight crimes.
State agencies must constantly examine and inspect the performance of their assigned functions and tasks; detect in time law violation acts for handling and immediately inform the investigating bodies or procuracies of all criminal acts committed in their agencies and in their management domains; have the right to propose and send related documents to the investigating bodies and procuracies to consider and initiate criminal proceedings against persons committing criminal acts.
The heads of State agencies shall take responsibility for their failure to report criminal acts happening in their agencies and in their management domains to the investigating bodies or procuracies.
State agencies shall have to comply with the requests of, and create conditions for, the procedure-conducting bodies and persons to perform their duties.
All acts of obstructing the activities of the procedure-conducting bodies and persons while performing their duties are strictly forbidden.
2. Inspection agencies must coordinate with investigating bodies, procuracies and courts in detecting and handling crimes. When detecting cases with criminal signs, they must immediately transfer related documents to and propose investigating bodies or procuracies to consider and institute criminal cases.
3. Within the scope of their responsibilities, investigating bodies and procuracies must consider and settle reported information on crimes, propose the institution of criminal cases and must inform the settling results to the reporting or proposing State agencies.
Article 27.- Detection and remedy of causes and conditions for crime commission
In the course of carrying out the criminal procedure, investigating bodies, procuracies and courts shall have to find out crime commission causes and conditions; request the concerned agencies and organizations to apply remedial and preventive measures.
The concerned agencies and organizations must reply on their compliance with the requests of investigating bodies, procuracies or courts.
Article 28.- Settlement of civil matters in criminal cases
The settlement of civil matters in criminal cases shall be carried out together with the settlement of criminal cases. Where a criminal case involves the compensation or indemnification matter which cannot be proved yet and does not affect the settlement of the criminal case, such civil matter may be separated and settled according to civil procedures.
Article 29.- Guarantee of the right to damage compensation and restoration of honor and interests of unjustly handled persons
Persons who have been unjustly handled by competent persons in criminal proceedings shall have the right to damage compensation and restoration of their honor and interests.
The competent bodies which have handled persons unjustly in criminal proceedings shall have to pay damage compensation to, and restore the honor and interests of, the unjustly punished persons; persons who have caused damage shall have to reimburse the compensated amounts to the competent bodies according to law.
Article 30.- Guarantee of the right to damage compensation of persons suffering from damage caused by the criminal procedure-conducting bodies or persons
Persons suffering from damage caused by competent bodies or persons in criminal proceedings shall have the right to damage compensation.
The bodies competent in criminal proceedings shall have to pay compensation to the damaged persons; the damage-causing persons shall have to reimburse the compensated amounts to the competent bodies according to law provisions.
Article 31.- Guarantee of the right to complain and denounce in the criminal procedure
Citizens, agencies and organizations shall have the right to complain about, and citizens shall have the right to denounce, illegal acts in criminal proceedings committed by bodies or persons competent to conduct the criminal procedure or by any individuals of such bodies.
Competent bodies must receive, consider and settle in a timely and lawful manner complaints and denunciations, then send notices on the settlement results to the complainants and denouncers for knowledge and taking remedial measures.
The order, procedures and competence to settle complaints and denunciations are provided for by this Code.
Article 32.- Supervision by agencies, organizations and people-elected deputies of activities of the procedure-conducting bodies and persons
State agencies, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees, the Front’s member organizations and people-elected deputies shall have the right to supervise activities of the procedure-conducting bodies and persons; supervise the settlement of complaints and denunciations by such bodies and persons.
If detecting any illegal acts committed by the procedure-conducting bodies or persons, the State agencies and people-elected deputies shall have the right to request, or the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees and the Front’s member organizations shall have the right to propose, the competent procedure-conducting bodies to consider and settle them in accordance with the provisions of this Code. The competent procedure-conducting bodies must consider, settle and reply such proposals or requests according to law.