VIETNAMESE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE - Part Three - FIRST-INSTANCE TRIAL - CHAPTER XXII DELIBERATION AND PRONUNCIATION OF JUDGMENTS








	
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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 XXII DELIBERATION AND PRONUNCIATION OF JUDGMENTS


Article 222.- Deliberation of judgments

1. Only judges and jurors shall have the right to deliberate judgments. Members of the trial panels must settle all matters of the cases by majority vote on each matter. Judges shall vote last. Persons holding minority opinions shall have the right to present their opinions in writing for inclusion in the case files.

2. Where procurators withdraw the whole prosecution decisions, the trial panels shall still settle matters of the cases in the order prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article. If there are grounds to confirm that defendants are not guilty, the trial panels shall declare the defendants not guilty; if deeming that the withdrawal of the prosecution decisions is ungrounded, they shall decide to cease the cases and make proposals to the immediate superior procuracies.

3. The deliberation of judgments shall be based only on evidences and documents already verified at the court sessions on the basis of fully and comprehensively examining all evidences, opinions of procurators, defendants, defense counsels and other participants in the proceedings at court sessions.

4. All opinions and decisions of the trial panels made in the process of deliberating judgments must be recorded in the minutes. Judgment deliberation minutes must be signed by all members of the trial panels at the deliberation chambers before the judgments are pronounced.


Article 223.- Reopening of inquiry and argument

If they find, through judgment deliberation, that some circumstances of the cases have not yet been inquired into or have been insufficiently inquired into, the trial panels shall decide to reopen the inquiry and argument.


Article 224.- Judgments

1. The courts shall hand down judgments in the name of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2. A judgment should contain the date, hour and venue of the court session; full names of members of the trial panel and court clerk; full names of procurators; full name, birth date, birth place, residence, occupation, educational level, social status and previous criminal records of the defendant; the date the defendant is held in custody and/or temporary detention; full name, age, occupation, birth place and residence of the defendant’s lawful representative; full name of the defense counsel; full names, ages, occupations, residences of the victim, civil plaintiff, civil defendant, persons with interests and obligations related to the case, and their lawful representatives.

3. A judgment must describe the commission of the offense by the defendant, analyze evidences arraigning and exculpating the defendant, determine where or not the defendant is guilty, and if guilty, which offense he/she has committed under which article and clause of the Penal Code, circumstances aggravating and extenuating his/her penal liability and how should they be handled. If the defendant is not guilty, the judgment must clearly state the grounds to confirm that the defendant is not guilty and deal with the restoration of his/her honor, legitimate rights and interests. The last part of a judgment shall contain the court’s decisions and the right to appeal against the judgment.


Article 225.- Proposal to remedy mistakes in the managerial work

1. Together with handing down judgments, the courts shall issue proposals to the concerned agencies and organizations to apply necessary measures to overcome crime causes and conditions at their agencies and organizations. Within thirty days after receiving the courts’ proposals, such agencies and organizations must notify in writing the courts of the measures already applied.

2. Proposals of the courts may be either read at the court sessions together with the judgments or sent to the concerned agencies or organizations only. .


Article 226.- Pronouncement of judgments

All people present in the courtrooms must stand up when a judgment is pronounced. The presiding judge or another member of the trial panel shall read the judgment and may, after reading, explain further the execution of the judgment and the right to appeal.

If the defendant does not know Vietnamese, after the judgment is pronounced, the interpreter must read to the defendant the whole judgment in the language which the defendant knows.


Article 227.- Release of defendants

In the following cases, the trial panels must declare the immediate release at the court sessions of the defendants who are temporarily detained, provided that they are not temporarily detained for another offense:

1. The defendants are not guilty;

2. The defendants are exempt from penal liability or from serving the penalty;

3. The defendants are punished with penalties other than imprisonment.

4. The defendants are entitled to suspended judgments;

5. The imprisonment term is equal to or shorter than the period during which the defendants have been temporarily detained.


Article 228.- Arrest of defendants for temporary detention after the pronouncement of judgments

1. For defendants who are being temporarily detained and sentenced to imprisonment but their temporary detention time limits expire on the date the court sessions end, the trial panels shall issue decisions to hold the defendants in temporary detention in order to secure the judgment execution, except for the cases prescribed in Clause 4 and Clause 5 of Article 227 of this Code.

2. Where the defendants who are not held in temporary detention are sentenced to imprisonment, they shall only be arrested for temporary detention in order to serve the penalties when the judgments become legally valid. The trial panels may issue decisions to immediately arrest the defendants for temporary detention if they have grounds to believe that the defendants may escape or continue to commit other offenses.

3. The time limit for temporary detention of defendants prescribed in Clause 1 and Clause 2 of this Article is forty five days as from the date of pronouncement of the judgments.

4. For defendants punished by capital punishment, the trial panels shall decide in the judgments on the continued temporary detention of the defendants to secure the execution of the judgments.


Article 229.- Handing of judgments

Within ten days after the date of pronouncement of the judgments, the first-instance courts must hand copies of the judgments to the defendants, the procuracies of the same level, and defense counsels, send them to persons tried in absentia and the police agencies of the same level; notify such in writing to the administrations of the communes, wards or townships where the defendants reside or the agencies or organizations where they work.

In case of trying defendants in absentia under the provisions of Point a or Point b, Clause 2, Article 187 of this Code, within the above-said time limit, copies of the judgments must be posted up at the offices of the administrations of the communes, wards or townships where the defendants last reside or of the agencies or organizations where they last work.

Victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases or their lawful representatives shall have the right to request the courts to provide them extracts or copies of the judgments.

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