The National Legal Aid Agency of Vietnam (NLAA) convened a two-day conference on July 10–11, 2014 to solicit input on a proposed Draft aimed at strengthening the legal aid reform project.
Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Thuy Hien chaired the conference in Hanoi attended by leaders of 26 departments within the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), 33 state Legal Aid Centres, interested lawyers, journalists and international guests.
The Draft had previously been tentatively approved by leaders of MOJ after having received the full support of the Justice Partnership Programme (JPP) and Friendly Justice System for Minors Project.
The meeting provided an opportunity for those in attendance to review, comment and make suggestions for incorporation into the final Draft, which is expected to be submitted to the Prime Minister during the third quarter of 2014.
At the conference, General Director of National Legal Aid Agency Nguyen Thi Minh provided those attending an overview of the status of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) project for the period 2015–2025, with an orientation to 2030.
Dr. Moling Ryan, the executive director of the Irish Legal Aid Board, in turn shared experiences on legal aid activities in Ireland. Meanwhile Charles Greenfield, an international legal aid consultant from the US, provided insight into legal aid models in a number of other countries.
For his part, Scott Ciment, a UNDP in Vietnam programme consultant, provided insight into how the Draft impacts on legal services provided to persons charged with crimes in Vietnam.
Moreover, attendees heard several speeches that focused on proposed measures that would ensure sufficient financial resources are available to provide quality legal aid services on a sustainable basis.
There were also speeches on the trend of socialization in legal aid, quality legal aid management issues and solutions and obstacles to providing legal aid services for children and solutions to improve efficacies.
The conference was held with the attendance and the representatives of the following international organizations: Embassy of America, Embassy of Ireland, the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF in Vietnam, and technical support team from JPP.
Resource: Office of NLAA