Ta Diu Thuong, LLM
International University - HCMC National University
Constitution is a supreme codified
written legal document in which
defines: fundamental political
establishes: the structure, procedures,
powers and duties of a government;
provides and guarantees certain rights
to the people
1.Is the most significant branch of
Vietnamese legal system. It’s also direct
source of other branches;
2. Comprises of all legal regulations, starting
from highest law (Constitution) to the lower
ones relating to its subject matter;
3. Subject matter: basic social relations
related to State power such as: political &
economic foundations, basic rights and
obligations of citizens, State administrative
apparatus, and other rights arising from
state’s sovereignty, rights to change and
establish foundations of legal system...
4. Supreme legal document - Constitution
Constitutional law - HISTORY
Ancient time:
2300 BC - Code of Justice: issued by the
Sumerian King of Lagash. It allowed and
protected some rights to his citizens,
providing certain regulations on its
political regime.
Hamurabi Code (1760 BC) – a
collection of laws in Babylon that still
well reserved until today. It contains
legal regulations and political-economic
Constitutional law - HISTORY
1. First codified Constitution: Twelve Tables.
2. Single code until the Codex
Theodosianus (AD 438);
3. Eastern Empire adopts the Codex
repetitæ prælectionis (A.D. 534). It was
highly influential throughout Europe.
Constitutional law - HISTORY
Midle East - Asia (Acient time)
Ancient India (3s-BC) “The Eddicts of Ashoka”
constitutional principles for Maurya king's rule.
Japan: 604 BC, Seventeen-article Constitution,
reportedly by Prince Shōtoku. One of the earliest in
the region. Influenced by budidsh teachings, this
focuses more on social morality, with little concerns
on institutions of Govt
Muslim: 622 AC, Constitution of Medina, drafted by
the prophet of Islam Muhamad*. One of the earliest
constitutions which guarantees basic rights to
religions and adherents as well as reinforcing a
judiciary process regarding the rules of warfare, tax
and civil disputes.
Constitutional law - HISTORY
Middle Age
England, 1215: King John adopted
Magna Carta. Most important principle
(article 39) “the King was not permitted
to imprison, outlaw, exile or kill anyone
at a whim — there must be due process
of law first”
China, 1375: Hong Wu Emperor issued
Ancestral Injunctions These rules served
in a very real sense as a constitution for
the Ming Dynasty for the next 250 years.
Contemporary Constitutions
1. San Marino*, 1600 - remains in force until
today. Consists of 62 articles covering wide
2. North
Fundamental Orders. It is considered the first
constitution of the region.
3. The
Constitution was influenced by the British
constitutional and political systems.
4. France, 1791, Constitution
* Nowadays, almost every state in the world
have a codified constitution, except for the
United Kingdom, Israel and New Zealand.
Constitutional law - VIETNAM
1. 1946:
A. September 2nd 1945 President Ho
announced Independence Declaration
B. November 9th , 1946 the first constitution
was adopted by the National Assembly
C. Includes 7 chapters, 70 articles
1954: Geneva Agreement has been signed
thanks to Dien Bien Phu victory.
2. 1959: Constitution of the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam, adopted on January 1,
1960. It consisted of X chapters, 112 articles
Constitutional law - VIETNAM
1975: The reunification of North
and South Vietnam
3. 1980: Constitution of the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam,
adopted on December 19, 1980
Includes XII chapters, 147
Constitutional law - VIETNAM
The consequence of the policy of
economic liberalization “Doi
Moi” started in 1986.
4. April 15th, 1992: Constitution
of the socialist Republic of the
Vietnam includes XII chapters,
147 articles
Vietnam Constitution 1992
1. Political regime;
2. Economic system;
3. Social and cultural institutions.
Deals with:
National defense and security;
Provides with:
1. Fundamental rights/obligations of the
2. Structure and principles of organization
and activity of State organs;
Relationship between the Party as leader,
the people as master, and the State as
Constitutional law
Vietnam Constitution 1992
12 chapters, 147 articles
Chapter 1-3: Political, economic, social,
cultural, education and sciencetechnology regimes;
Chapter IV: Protection of Motherland;
Chapter V: Basic rights and obligations
of citizens;
Chapter VI-X: State apparatus
Chapter XI & XII: National flag, hymn
and enforcement and amendment
procedure to the Constitution
Vietnam Constitution 1992 - MAIN
Political regime – set of basic principles to
exercise State power.
Economic regime – system of economic
relations. It expresses nature and form of
ownership as to production materials,
distribution and consumption of goods and
organization of economic management.
 MARKET ECONOMY with Socialism
 State, cooperative and private ownership
Vietnam Constitution 1992 - MAIN
1. Policies towards culture, education
and science-technology
Chapter III (art 30-40)
Vietnam Constitution 1992
2. Basic rights and obligations of Citizens
Relationship between State and citizens
are usually expressed in the way how
State defines rights and obligations of its
B.Economic, cultural and social
C.Rights of democracy & personal freedom
D.Obligations of citizens
Vietnam Constitution 1992
Basic rights and obligations of Citizens
(chapter V)
Show loyalty to and ready to
protect Motherland
Respect and protect the properly of
the State and the public interest
Obey the Constitution and laws
Pay taxes and perform publicinterest labour days.
Constitutional law Vietnam Constitution 1992
Basic rights and obligations of Citizens:
5.A Some other rights in details:
A. Rights and obligations to protect
B. Rights of “Physical inviolability”,
residence and privacy protection;
C. Rights to lodge complaints and
denunciations with the competent
State authorities
Administrative system of Vietnam
 Legislative Branch
 National Assembly
Is the highest State authority
Exercises state activities’ supervision
Has 14 legislative and supervision duties
(art 84 of Constitution)
Operates in 5-year term, meets twice a
year and has its standing committee
Appoints President, PMs, chief
prosecutor of SP Court, Supreme
People’s Office of Supervision and
Control, and 21-member cabinet.
Administrative system of Vietnam
Judicial Branch:
Supreme People's Court - highest judicial body.
supervises lower-level courts under the authority of
the NA, judges are appointed by NA for 5-year
Local People’s Courts deal with legal issues
(labour and individual disputes) at the district
precinct levels. Report to provincial or municipal
Military Tribunal - criminal military cases
Other tribunals, incl Special tribunal set up by NA
Administrative system of Vietnam
Executive Branch:
Executive body
of NA
Highest administrative
* has 11 duties
* Comprises of PM, deputy PMs, Ministers
(and ministry-level bodies) and other
Constitutional law
Administrative system of Vietnam
Executive Branch:
Constitutional law
Administrative system of Vietnam
Executive Branch:
People’s Council* is:
- State authorities in respective localities
- Elected by local population
People’s Committee is:
- Executive agency of the respective PCs
- Elected by People’s Councils
- Take decision, give instructions and
supervise their implementation