Regulations on handling foreigners committing criminal violations in Vietnam

by HaTrang

Each independent and sovereign state has its own legal system, including criminal law. In the case of foreigners committing criminal offenses in the territory of Vietnam, how to handle them? Regulations on handling foreigners committing criminal violations in Vietnam? Let’s find out in this article with LSX Lawfirm.

Legal grounds

Criminal Law 2017

Determining whether foreign violators are in the case that Vietnam has to handle criminal liability

Subjects entitled to diplomatic immunity

Accordingly Clause 2, Article 5 of the 2017 Penal Code; foreigners who commit crimes in the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has right to diplomatic or consular immunity under Vietnamese law. Accordingly international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party or according to international practices; their criminal liability issues shall be settled; accordingly the provisions of the international treaty; or accordingly international practices where such international treaty does not stipulate or there are no international practices; their criminal liability shall be settled by diplomatic means.

Normally, the people who enjoy diplomatic privileges are the heads of state agencies, diplomatic representatives, members of the diplomatic corps, etc. Due to the lack of specific regulations on the entitlements, the application Widely used with foreign audiences. So it is necessary to give a specific content for this.

Subjects not entitled to diplomatic immunity

Clause 2, Article 6 of the Penal Code stipulates: “Foreigners who commit crimes outside the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam may be examined for penal liability under the Vietnamese Penal Code in the following cases: accordance with international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has signed or acceded.

Besides, give the direction to handle criminal acts of foreigners. According to the provisions of this Clause, a foreigner who commits a crime in the Vietnamese territory may be liable to penal liability in the cases that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has signed with a participating country or according to international practices, he or she still has to bear penal liability.

There are 2 possibilities in this case:

  • That foreigner will be extradited to the host country; if accepted by Vietnam
  • Vietnam refuses to extradite to directly adjudicate criminal acts of citizens of the countries participating in the treaty

Things to know about handling foreigners committing criminal offenses in Vietnam

Among the penalties applied to foreign offenders, deportation is the most specific. For this penalty, the Government issued Decree 54/2001/ND-CP dated August 23, 2001; the document mainly applied today in guiding the execution of the expulsion penalty.

Accordingly clause 1, Article 1 of this Decree stipulates that expulsion is the main or additional penalty applied to a foreigner who commits a crime (a person without Vietnamese nationality), forcing him or her to leave within a certain period of time. territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

In addition, the decree also stipulates the rights and obligations of the deportees, the responsibilities and powers of the expulsion penalty enforcement agency, and the order and procedures for the enforcement of the expulsion penalty. Despite this, the crime detection, investigation, prosecution, adjudication, and judgment enforcement by the legal proceedings against foreigners committing crimes in Vietnam are facing many problems.

The handling of criminal acts by foreigners will involve the diplomatic affairs of the countries concerned. However, there are some countries, Vietnam has not signed cooperation agreements, criminal extradition, or mutual legal assistance agreements, so when detecting their citizens committing crimes in the territory of Vietnam will be very difficult, as well as not receiving active and good-faith support from these countries.

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Related questions

How is the criminal handling of crimes committed by foreigners in Vietnam regulated?

In case a foreigner commits a crime in the Vietnamese territory and is not subject to diplomatic; or consular immunity accordingly the above provisions; based on the criminal components committed by the foreigner; they must responsible accordingly the provisions of law; like Vietnamese citizens committing crimes.

What is difficulities in handling foreigners commit crimes in Viet Nam?

Language disagreement is also one of the great obstacles; especially in the process of investigation; interrogation; litigation at court hearings; sentencing; etc., which requires someone to translate for foreigners crimes in their mother tongue. In addition, there are difficulties in determining the identity of foreigners committing crimes such as age criminal record criminal record, etc. 

The jurisdiction of the Court by territory?

Territorial jurisdiction to settle and adjudicate criminal cases involving foreign elements: “If the defendants commit crimes abroad; if they are tried in Vietnam; the People’s Courts province of the defendant’s last place of residence in the trial country. If the last place of residence of the accused cannot be determined; depending on the case; the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court shall issue a decision to assign the People’s Court of Hanoi; or the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City to the People’s Court of Hanoip; Tried by Chi Minh. 
If defendants commit crimes abroad; if they fall under the jurisdiction of a military court; they will be tried by a military court of military zone level; or higher under a decision of the chief justice of the Central Military Court.

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