VIETNAMESE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE - Part Three - FIRST-INSTANCE TRIAL - CHAPTER XX PROCEDURES FOR INQUIRY AT COURT SESSIONS








	
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PART THREE FIRST-INSTANCE TRIAL
CHAPTER XVI JURISDICTION OF COURTS AT ALL LEVELS
Article 170.- Adjudicating jurisdiction of courts at all levels
Article 171.- Territorial jurisdiction
Article 172.- Jurisdiction to adjudicate offenses committed on board aircraft or sea-going ships of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which are operating outside the airspace or the territorial sea of Vietnam
Article 173.- Adjudication of defendants committing many offenses falling under the jurisdiction of courts at different levels
Article 174.- Transfer of cases
Article 175.- Settlement of disputes over adjudicating jurisdiction
CHAPTER XVII TRIAL PREPARATION
Article 176.- Trial preparation time limits
Article 177.- Application, change or cancellation of deterrent measures
Article 178.- Contents of decisions to bring cases for trial
Article 179.- Decisions to return files for additional investigation
Article 180.- Decisions to suspend or cease cases
Article 181.- Withdrawal of prosecution decisions by procuracies
Article 182.- Handing of court decisions
Article 183.- Summoning of persons to be questioned at court sessions
CHAPTER XVIII GENERAL PROVISIONS ON PROCEDURES AT COURT SESSIONS
Article 184.- Direct, oral and uninterrupted trial
Article 185.- Composition of first-instance trial panels
Article 186.- Replacement of trial panel members in special cases
Article 187.- Appearance of defendants at court sessions
Article 188.- Supervision of defendants at court sessions
Article 189.- Appearance of procurators
Article 190.- Appearance of defense counsels
Article 191.- Appearance of victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases or their lawful representatives
Article 192.- Appearance of witnesses
Article 193.- Appearance of experts
Article 194.- Time limit for postponement of court sessions
Article 195.- Withdrawal of prosecution decisions or conclusion on lesser offenses by procurators at court sessions
Article 196.- Limits of trial
Article 197.- Internal rules of court sessions
Article 198.- Measures against persons violating order at court sessions
Article 199.- Making court judgments and decisions
Article 200.- Minutes of court sessions
CHAPTER XIX PROCEDURES FOR OPENING COURT SESSIONS
Article 201.- Procedures for opening court sessions
Article 202.- Settlement of requests for change of judges, jurors, procurators, court clerk, experts and/or interpreters
Article 203.- Explanation of the rights and obligations of interpreters and experts
Article 204.- Explanation of the rights, obligations of witnesses, and isolation of witnesses
Article 205.- Settlement of requests for examination of evidences and postponement of court sessions due to the absence of persons concerned
CHAPTER XX PROCEDURES FOR INQUIRY AT COURT SESSIONS
Article 206.- Reading of indictments
Article 207.- Inquiring order
Article 208.- Announcement of statements at investigating bodies
Article 209.- Inquiry of defendants
Article 210.- Inquiry of victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases or their lawful representatives
Article 211.- Inquiry of witnesses
Article 212.- Examination of exhibits
Article 213.- On-spot examination
Article 214.- Presentation and announcement of documents of the cases and comments and reports of agencies or organizations
Article 215.- Inquiry of experts
Article 216.- Termination of inquiry
CHAPTER XXI ARGUMENT AT COURT SESSIONS
Article 217.- Order of presentation of arguments
Article 218.- Counter-argument
Article 219.- Reopening of inquiry
Article 220.- Final words of defendants
Article 221.- Consideration of withdrawal of prosecution decisions or conclusions on lesser offenses
CHAPTER XXII DELIBERATION AND PRONUNCIATION OF JUDGMENTS
Article 222.- Deliberation of judgments
Article 223.- Reopening of inquiry and argument
Article 224.- Judgments
Article 225.- Proposal to remedy mistakes in the managerial work
Article 226.- Pronouncement of judgments
Article 227.- Release of defendants
Article 228.- Arrest of defendants for temporary detention after the pronouncement of judgments
Article 229.- Handing of judgments

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CHAPTER XX PROCEDURES FOR INQUIRY AT COURT SESSIONS


Article 206.- Reading of indictments

Before inquiring, procurators shall read the indictments and present additional opinions, if any.


Article 207.- Inquiring order

1. The trial panels must determine fully all circumstances of each fact and each offense in the cases in a rational inquiring order.

2. When inquiring each person, the presiding judge shall put questions first, then procurators, defense counsels and defense counsels of interests of the involved persons. Participants in the court sessions shall also have the right to request the presiding judges to ask more questions about the circumstances required to be clarified. Experts may ask questions about matters related to the expert examination.

3. While inquiring, the trial panels shall examine related exhibits in the cases.


Article 208.- Announcement of statements at investigating bodies

1. If the persons inquired are present at the court sessions, the trial panels and procurators must not repeat or announce their statements at the investigating bodies before they give their statements on the circumstances of the cases at the court sessions.

2. Statements taken at the investigating bodies shall only be announced in the following cases:

a/ Statements of the persons inquired at the court sessions are contradictory to theirs at the investigating bodies;

b/ Inquired persons refuse to give statements at the court sessions;

c/ The persons to be inquired are absent or deceased.


Article 209.- Inquiry of defendants

1. The trial panels must inquire each defendant separately. If the statements of this defendant may affect those of another, the presiding judge must isolate them. In this case, the isolated defendants shall be informed of the statements of the previous defendants and have the right to put questions to such defendants.

2. Defendants shall present their opinions on the indictments and circumstances of the cases. The trial panels shall further inquire about insufficient or contradictory points in the defendants’ statements.

3. Procurators shall inquire about circumstances of the cases which are related to the accusation or exculpation of defendants. Defense counsels shall inquire about circumstances related to the defense, defense counsels of the interests of the involved parties shall inquire about circumstances related to the protection of interests of the involved parties. Participants at court sessions shall have the right to propose the presiding judges to further ask about circumstances related to them.

4. If defendants refuse to answer questions, the trial panels, procurators, defense counsels and defense counsels of the interests of the involved parties shall continue to inquire other persons and examine exhibits and documents related to the cases.


Article 210.- Inquiry of victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases or their lawful representatives

Victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases or their lawful representatives shall give their statements on circumstances of the cases which are related to them. Then, the trial panels, procurators, defense counsels and defense counsels of the interests of the involved parties shall inquire further about insufficient or contradictory points in their statements.


Article 211.- Inquiry of witnesses

1. The trial panels must inquire each witness separately and not let other witnesses know the contents of such inquiry.

2. While inquiring witnesses, the trial panels must ask questions to clarify their relationships with the defendants and involved parties in the cases. The presiding judges shall request witnesses to state clearly the circumstances of the cases they know, then inquire further about those insufficient or contradictory points in their testimonies. Procurators, defense counsels, defense counsels of the interests of the involved parties then may further ask the witnesses.

3. If witnesses are minor, the presiding judges may seek the help of their parents, mentors or teachers in inquiring them.

4. After giving their testimonies, witnesses shall stay on in the courtrooms for possible further inquiry.

5. In case of necessity to ensure safety for witnesses and their relatives, the trial panels must decide to apply measures to protect them according to law.


Article 212.- Examination of exhibits

1. Exhibits, photos or minutes certifying exhibits shall be presented for examination at court sessions.

When necessary, the trial panels may together with procurators, defense counsels and other participants in court sessions, come to examine on the spot exhibits which cannot be brought to the court sessions. The on-spot examination must be recorded in a minutes according to the provisions of Article 95 of this Code.

2. Procurators, defense counsels and other participants in court sessions shall have the right to present their remarks on exhibits. The trial panels may inquire further about matters related to exhibits.


Article 213.- On-spot examination

When deeming it necessary, the trial panels may together with procurators, defense counsels and other participants in court sessions come to examine the scenes of offenses or other places related to the cases. Procurators, defense counsels and other participates at court sessions shall have the right to present their remarks on the scenes of offenses or other places related to the cases.

The trial panels may inquire other participants in court sessions further about matters related to such places.

The on-spot examination must be recorded in a minutes according to general procedures prescribed in Article 95 of this Code.


Article 214.- Presentation and announcement of documents of the cases and comments and reports of agencies or organizations

Comments and reports of agencies or organizations on circumstances of the cases shall be presented by the representatives of such agencies or organizations; if no representatives of such agencies or organizations are present, the trial panels shall announce such comments and reports at the court sessions.

Documents contained in the case files or just presented during the inquiry shall all have to be announced at court sessions.

Procurators, defendants, defense counsels and other participants in court sessions shall have the right to give their remarks on such documents and inquire further about related matters.


Article 215.- Inquiry of experts

1. Experts shall present their conclusions on the matters assigned to them for expertise.

2. At court sessions, experts shall have the right to give additional explanations on the basis of the expertise conclusions.

3. If experts are absent, the presiding judges shall announce the expertise conclusions.

4. Procurators, defense counsels and other participants in court sessions shall have the right to give remarks on the expertise conclusions, inquire about unclear or contradictory matters in such conclusions.

5. When deeming it necessary, the trial panels shall decide to solicit additional expertise or re-expertise.


Article 216.- Termination of inquiry

When deeming that all circumstances of the cases have been examined fully, the presiding judges shall ask procurators, defendants, defense counsels and other participants in the court sessions whether they request to inquire about any matters. If any of them makes such a request and deeming that such request is justifiable, the presiding judges shall decide to continue the inquiry.

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