Regulations on planning law/ordinance formulation program in Vietnam

by Hà Ngọc

Planning law/ordinance formulation program is an important period in formulation and promulgation of law/ordinance. Let’s find out this issue with Lawyer X through the following situation: “Dear Lawyer! I want to aske what does Law/ordinance formulation program mean in Vietnam? What are grounds that the request for law/ordinance formulation of agencies, organizations must based on? Who has responsibility for making request for law/ordinance formulation in Vietnam? Thanks for answering my questions!”

  • 2015 Vietnam Law on promulgation of legislative documents

Regulations on Law/ordinance formulation program

– Law/ordinance formulation programs shall be planned annually according to policies of Communist Party, the State, socio-economic development strategy, national defense and security strategy, and state management requirements in each period so that to ensure human rights, basic rights and obligations of citizens.

– The National Assembly shall decide the law/ordinance formulation program at the first meeting session of the previous year.

Request for law/ordinance formulation of agencies, organizations

– The President, Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, the Government, the People’s Supreme Court, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, State Audit Office of Vietnam, Central Committee of Vietnamese Fatherland Front, central agencies of associate organizations of Vietnamese Fatherland Front who are entitled to submit law projects to the National Assembly and ordinance projects to Standing Committee of the National Assembly are entitled to request law/ordinance formulation.

– The request for law/ordinance formulation must be based on:

+ Policies of Communist Party and the State;

+ Results of law implementation or assessment of social relationships related to policies of the law/ordinance project;

+ Requirements for state management, socio-economic development; assurance of human rights, basic rights and obligations of citizens; assurance of national defense and security;

+ Relevant international agreements to which Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.

Law/ordinance proposal, request for law/ordinance formulation

– Deputies of the National Assembly are entitled to make law/ordinance proposals. Law/ordinance proposals must be based on policies of Communist Party and the State, requirements for state management, socio-economic development; assurance of human rights, basic rights and obligations of citizens; assurance of national defense and security, and relevant international agreements to which Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory

– Deputies of the National Assembly are entitled to request law/ordinance formulation. The request for law/ordinance formulation shall be made in accordance with Clause 2 Article 32 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

– Deputies of the National Assembly are entitled to make proposals of law/ordinance, request for law/ordinance formulation as prescribed in Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents, or request the Office of the National Assembly or Office of National Assembly Delegation, or a research institute to assist in doing so.

– The Office of the National Assembly has the responsibility to enable deputies of the National Assembly to exercise their rights to make law/ordinance proposals and request law/ordinance formulation

Responsibilities of agencies, organizations, and deputies of the National Assembly for making request for law/ordinance formulation

– Before requesting law/ordinance formulation, the agency, organization, or deputy of the National Assembly must perform the following tasks or request a competent agency to perform the following tasks:

+ Summarize the implementation of regulations of law related to the request for law/ordinance formulation; survey, assess social relationships relevant to the request for law/ordinance formulation;

+ Conduct scientific research into relevant issues to assist the request for law/ordinance formulation; study information, materials, international agreements to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory relevant to the request for law/ordinance formulation. Request relevant organizations and individuals to provide documents and information related to the request for law/ordinance formulation where necessary;

+ Formulate proposed policies in the request for law/ordinance formulation; assess the impact of such policies;

+ Estimate resources and conditions for assurance of implementation of the law or ordinance after it is ratified by the National Assembly or Standing Committee of the National Assembly.

– Prepare documents to request law, ordinance formulation as prescribed in Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

– Seek opinions from relevant organizations and individuals about the request for law/ordinance formulation; consider and respond to the opinions offered.

– With regard to request for law/ordinance formulation that is not made by the Government, the agency, organization, or deputy of the National Assembly who requests the law/ordinance formulation also has the responsibility to obtain and consider opinions given by the government.

Assessment of impact of proposed policies in the request for law/ordinance formulation

– Agencies and organizations are responsible for assessing the impact of each proposed policy. Deputies of the National Assembly shall assess impact of each proposed policy or request a competent authority to do so.

During the process of drafting, appraising, inspecting, considering, and commenting law/ordinance project, if new policies are submitted, the submitting agency must assess their impact.

– The assessment of each proposed policy in must specify: issues to be solved; targets of the policy; solutions for implementation the policy; positive and negative impacts of the policy; costs, benefits of solutions; comparison of costs and benefits of solutions; selected solution and reason for such selection; assessment of impact of administrative procedures; gender-related impact (if any).

– When assessing impact of proposed policies, agencies, organizations, and deputies of the National Assembly must study and draft a draft report on impact assessment; seek opinions and feedbacks about the draft report, and revise the draft report.

– The Government shall elaborate this Article.

Seeking opinions about request for law/ordinance formulation

– Agencies, organizations, and deputies of the National Assembly who make requests for law, ordinance formulation have the responsibility to:

+ Post the summary report, report on impacts of proposed policies on the information portal of the National Assembly if the request is made by Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, deputies of the National Assembly, or the information portal of the Government if the request is made by the government, and the information portal or the requesting agency/organization for at least 30 days.

+ Seek opinions from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, relevant organizations, entities under the direct impacts of proposed policies, and solution for implementation of such policies in the request for law/ordinance formulation. Hold a meeting to seek opinions about basic policies in the request for law/ordinance formulation where necessary;

+ Consider, explain, aggregate opinions; post the report on receipt of opinions (hereinafter referred to as feedback report) on the information portal as prescribed in this Clause.

– Within 15 days from the receipt of request for opinions, the enquired agencies/organizations must provide their opinions in writing; the Ministry of Finance shall send a report on financial sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs shall send a report of assessment of human resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall send a report on compatibility with relevant international agreements to which Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory, the Ministry of Justice shall send a report on constitutionality, legitimacy, and consistency of the request for law/ordinance formulation with the legal system to the requesting agency, organization, or deputy of the National Assembly.

Application for law/ordinance formulation, written law/ordinance proposals

– An application for law/ordinance formulation consists of:

+ A description of the request for law/ordinance formulation which specifies the necessity of such law/ordinance; purposes and viewpoints on the law/ordinance formulation; entities regulated by the law/ordinance; targets, contents of proposed policies, solution for implementation thereof, and reasons for choosing such solution; estimated resources and conditions for ensuring implementation of the law/ordinance after it is ratified by the National Assembly or Standing Committee of the National Assembly; intended time for submitting to the National Assembly or Standing Committee of the National Assembly for consideration and ratification;

+ Report on assessment of impact of proposed policies;

+ Report on implementation of law or social relationships related to the request for law/ordinance formulation;

+ A report on receipt of opinions from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and other agencies; photocopies of the enquiry sheets;

+ The outline of the draft law/ordinance.

– The written law/ordinance proposal must specify the necessity of such law/ordinance, regulated entities, purposes and requirements, viewpoints, policies, and main contents of the law/ordinance.

Responsibility to request formulation of law/ordinance to be submitted by the Government

– With regard to a law/ordinance project to be submitted by the Government, a Ministry or ministerial agency shall make the request for law/ordinance formulation itself or as assigned by the Prime Minister.

– The Ministry or ministerial agency who request for law/ordinance formulation shall perform the tasks prescribed in Article 34 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

Regulations on planning law formulation program in Vietnam
Regulations on planning law formulation program in Vietnam

Appraising request for formulation of law/ordinance to be submitted by the Government

– The Ministry of Justice shall take charge and cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, relevant organizations in appraising the request for law/ordinance formulation before submitting it to the government within 20 days from the receipt of the satisfactory application for law/ordinance formulation.

– The Ministry or ministerial agency that makes the request for law/ordinance formulation shall send the application to the Ministry of Justice for appraisal. The application consists of documents mentioned in Clause 1 Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

Documents mentioned in Point a and Point b Clause 1 Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents must be sent in writing, other documents may be sent electronically.

– The appraisal shall focus on:

+ Necessity of the law/ordinance; entities regulated by the law/ordinance;

+ Conformity of the proposed policies with policies of Communist Party and the State;

+ The constitutionality, legitimacy, and consistency of policies with the legal system; feasibility and … of the proposed policies; solutions and conditions for ensuring implementation of the proposed policies;

+ Compatibility of the proposed policies with relevant international agreements to which Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory;

+ Necessity, reasonability, cost of administrative procedures of proposed policies (if they are related to administrative procedures); integration of gender equality in the request for law/ordinance formulation (if they are related to gender equality);

+ Adherence to procedures for requesting law/ordinance formulation.

– The appraisal report must contain opinions of the Ministry of Justice about the appraised contents mentioned in Clause 3 of this Article and whether or not the request for law/ordinance formulation is satisfactory enough to be submitted to the Prime Minister.

– The appraisal report must be sent to the Ministry or ministerial agency that makes the request for law/ordinance formulation within 10 days from the end of the appraisal. The requesting agency shall consider the opinions given and revise, complete the request for law/ordinance formulation, send the revised request for law/ordinance formulation together with the feedback report to the Ministry of Justice when submitting it to the Government.

Submitting request for formulation of law/ordinance to be submitted by the Government

– The Ministry or ministerial agency who makes the request for law/ordinance formulation shall submit the application for law/ordinance formulation to the government at least 20 days before the date of meeting of the Government.

– Documents to be submitted to the Government include:

+ The documents mentioned in Clause 1 Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents;

+ Report on appraisal of the request for law/ordinance formulation; feedback report;

+ Other documents (if any).

Documents mentioned in Point a and Point b Clause 1 Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents and Point b of this Clause must be sent in writing, other documents may be sent electronically.

The Government considering approval for request for formulation of law/ordinance to be submitted by the Government

The Government shall hold a meeting to consider requests for request for law/ordinance formulation in the following order:

– Representatives of Ministries and ministerial agencies who request law/ordinance formulation present their description of the requests for law/ordinance formulation;

– Representative of the Ministry of Justice presents the appraisal report;

– Representatives of agencies and organizations that attend the meeting offer their opinions;

– The Government discusses and vote for the policies in each request for law/ordinance formulation. A policy shall be ratified when it is voted for by more than half of the Government members;

– The Government shall issue a resolution on the request for law/ordinance formulation with the ratified policies.

Revising and sending application for formulation of law/ordinance to be submitted by the Government

The Ministry or ministerial agency that makes the request for law/ordinance formulation shall cooperate with relevant agencies in completing the application for law/ordinance formulation based the Government’s resolution and send it to the Ministry of Justice in order to make the Government’s proposals for law/ordinance formulation program.

Making the Government’s proposals for law/ordinance formulation program

– The Government shall make and submit proposals for law/ordinance formulation program to Standing Committee of the National Assembly.

The Ministry of Justice shall assist the Government in making proposals for law/ordinance formulation program based on the requests for law/ordinance formulation approved by the Government.

– The Government considers and discusses the proposals for law/ordinance formulation program in the following order:

+ Representative of the Ministry of Justice presents the draft proposals for law/ordinance formulation program;

+ Representatives of attending agencies and organizations offer their opinions;

+ The Government discusses;

+ The Government cast vote on the proposals for law/ordinance formulation program. The Government’s request for law/ordinance formulation program is approved when they are voted for by more than half of the Government members.

The Government offering opinions about request for law/ordinance formulation not submitted by the Government and law/ordinance proposals

– With regard to request for formulation of a law/ordinance not submitted by the Government and law/ordinance proposals, the agency, organization, or deputy of the National Assembly shall send the application for law/ordinance formulation or the written law/ordinance proposal prescribed in Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents to the Government for offering opinions before submitting it to Standing Committee of the National Assembly.

The Government shall give a written response within 30 days from the receipt of the application or proposal.

– The Ministry of Justice shall take charge and cooperate with other Ministries, ministerial agencies in offering the Government’s opinions about the request for formulation of the law/ordinance not submitted by the Government and law/ordinance proposal for the Government to discuss.

– The Government shall consider and discuss the request for formulation of the law/ordinance not submitted by the Government and law/ordinance proposal in the following order:

+ Representative of the Ministry of Justice presents the draft opinions of the Government;

+ Representatives of attending agencies and organizations offer their opinions;

+ The Government discusses;

+ The Prime Minister draws a conclusion.

– The Ministry of Justice shall revise the Government’s opinions based on the Prime Minister’s conclusion, and then submit them to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision.

Responsibility for making, considering, and approving request for formulation of law/ordinance not submitted by the Government

– The President, Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, the Government, the People’s Supreme Court, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, State Audit Office of Vietnam, President of Central Committee of Vietnamese Fatherland Front, heads of central agencies of associate organizations of Vietnamese Fatherland Front shall direct the formulation of law/ordinance; assign an agency or unit in charge of making the request.

– The assigned agency/unit shall perform the tasks mentioned in Article 34 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

With regard to the request for law/ordinance formulation of the People’s Supreme Court or the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the assigned unit shall seek opinions from the Judge Council of the People’s Supreme Court and Control Committee of the People’s Supreme Procuracy before reporting to the executive judge of the People’s Supreme Court or the Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

– Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, Central Committee of Vietnamese Fatherland Front, central agencies of associate organizations of Vietnamese Fatherland Front shall hold a meeting to consider approving the request for law/ordinance formulation in the following order:

+ Representative the assigned agency or unit presents the description of the request for law/ordinance formulation;

+ Representative of the Government offers opinions about the request for law/ordinance formulation;

+ Representatives of other attending agencies and organizations offer their opinions;

+ Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, Central Committee of Vietnamese Fatherland Front, central agencies of associate organizations of Vietnamese Fatherland Front cast votes on proposed policies in the request for law/ordinance formulation. The polices shall be ratified when they are voted for by more than half of the members of Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, Central Committee of Vietnamese Fatherland Front, central agencies of associate organizations of Vietnamese Fatherland Front.

– The President, executive judge of the People’s Supreme Court, Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and State Auditor General shall consider approving request for law/ordinance formulation in the following order:

+ The assigned agency/unit submits a report on the request for law/ordinance formulation to the President, executive judge of the People’s Supreme Court, Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and State Auditor General;

+ The President, executive judge of the People’s Supreme Court, Chief Procurator of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and State Auditor General consider the request for law/ordinance formulation.

– Every deputy of the National Assembly may make requests for law/ordinance formulation themselves or request a competent authority to assist them in doing so. If assistance from a competent authority is requested, the deputy of the National Assembly shall consider submitting the request for law/ordinance formulation in the following order:

+ The agency assisting the deputy of the National Assembly in making the request for law/ordinance formulation submit a report on the request for law/ordinance formulation to other deputies of the National Assembly.

+ Other deputies of the National Assembly consider submitting the request for law/ordinance formulation.

Time limit and application for law/ordinance formulation and written law/ordinance proposal

– Not later than the 1st of March of the previous year, the request for law/ordinance formulation or law/ordinance proposal must be sent to Standing Committee of the National Assembly in order to plan the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program, and to Legal Committee of the National Assembly for inspection.

– Applications for law/ordinance formulation and law/ordinance proposals of deputies of the National Assembly shall be sent to Standing Committee of the National Assembly as follows:

+ With regard to the Government’s proposals for law/ordinance formulation program, documents include the description of the Government, the preliminary program, and electronic copies of the documents mentioned in Clause 1 Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents;

+ With regard to requests for law/ordinance formulation of other agencies, organizations, and deputies of the National Assembly, documents include those mentioned in Point a Clause 1 Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents and the Government’s opinions about the request for law/ordinance formulation enclosed with electronic copies of other documents mentioned in Article 37 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

With regard to law/ordinance proposals of deputies of the National Assembly, documents include the law/ordinance proposal and the Government’s opinions about the law/ordinance proposal.

Inspecting requests for law/ordinance formulation and law/ordinance proposals

– Legal Committee shall preside over the inspection of proposals for law/ordinance formulation program of agencies, organizations, deputies of the National Assembly, and law/ordinance proposals of deputies of the National Assembly.

The inspection shall focus on their necessity, scope, regulated entities, basic policies, uniformity, feasibility, order of priority, and conditions for formulating and implementing the documents.

– Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly shall cooperate with Legal Committee in inspecting requests for law/ordinance formulation, law/ordinance proposals, and offer opinions about their necessity, policies, order of priority for submitting law/ordinance projects within their competence.

Planning preliminary law/ordinance formulation program

– Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall consider requests for law/ordinance formulation and law/ordinance proposals in the following order:

+ The representative of the Government presents the description of the Government’s proposals for law/ordinance formulation program and opinions about the request for formulation law/ordinance not submitted by the Government, law/ordinance proposals

Representatives of other agencies, organizations, and deputies of the National Assembly may be requested to offer their opinions about their requests for law/ordinance formulation and law/ordinance proposals;

+ The representative of the Legal Committee presents the inspection report;

+ Participants offer their opinions;

+ Standing Committee of the National Assembly discusses;

+ Representatives of the Government, other agencies, organizations, and deputies of the National Assembly who make requests for law/ordinance formulation and law/ordinance proposals may raise additional issues at the meeting;

+ The chair draws a conclusion.

– Based on the requests for law/ordinance formulation made by agencies, organizations, deputies of the National Assembly, law/ordinance proposals of deputies of the National Assembly, and opinions of Legal Committee, Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall plan a preliminary law/ordinance formulation program and submit it to the National Assembly for consideration and decision.

Documents about the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program planning include an description, draft resolution of the National Assembly on law/ordinance formulation program, and electronic of the documents mentioned in Clause 2 Article 46 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents. The preliminary law/ordinance formulation program planning must be posted on the information portal of the National Assembly.

– Legal Committee shall take charge and cooperate with relevant agencies in assisting Standing Committee of the National Assembly in planning the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program.

Procedures for considering and approving the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program

– The National Assembly shall consider approving the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program in the following order:

+ Representatives of Standing Committee of the National Assembly present the description of the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program;

+ The National Assembly discusses the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program at the general meeting. Before being discussed at the general meeting, the preliminary law/ordinance formulation program may be discussed by groups of deputies of the National Assembly.

+ After the preliminary draft law/ordinance formulation program is discussed by the National Assembly, Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall request Legal Committee to take charge and cooperate with representatives of the Government and relevant organizations in revising the draft resolution of the National Assembly about law/ordinance formulation program and make a feedback and revision report;

+ Standing Committee of the National Assembly submits a report on revisions to resolution of the National Assembly on law/ordinance formulation program to the National Assembly;

+ The National Assembly casts votes on a resolution of the National Assembly on law/ordinance formulation program.

– The resolution on law/ordinance formulation program must specify the name of the law/ordinance project and intended time for submitting it to Standing Committee of the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

Execution of law/ordinance formulation program

– Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall direct and deploy the execution of law/ordinance formulation program by performing the following tasks:

+ Assign agencies, organizations, and members to submit law/ordinance projects, draft resolutions; presiding and cooperating agencies in charge of inspecting law/ordinance projects and draft resolutions.

In case the law project or resolution of the National Assembly is submitted by Standing Committee of the National Assembly, the National Assembly shall decide the inspecting agency or establish a provisional inspecting committee.

In case the law/ordinance project or resolution is submitted by Ethnic Council or Committees of the National Assembly, Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall decide the inspecting agency;

+ Establish a drafting board of the law/ordinance project or draft resolution in accordance with Clause 1 Article 52 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents;

+ Decide the schedule for formulating the law/ordinance project and specific measures for ensuring execution of law/ordinance formulation program.

– Legal Committee shall assist Standing Committee of the National Assembly in organizing execution of law/ordinance formulation program.

– The Ministry of Justice shall submit a presiding drafting agency and cooperating agencies to the Prime Minister for consideration and assist the Prime Minister in urging the drafting of law/ordinance projects and resolutions submitted by the Government.

Adjustments to law/ordinance formulation program

– Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall decide adjustments to law/ordinance formulation program itself or at the request of the agency/organization/deputies of the National Assembly who submit the law/ordinance project in the following cases:

+ Remove from the program the law/ordinance projects that are unnecessary because of socio-economic changes or necessary change of proposal time;

+ Include in the program law/ordinance projects necessary for socio-economic development, national defense and security, protection of life and property of the people; law/ordinance projects that need adjusting to new documents to ensure uniformity of the legal system or implement the international agreements to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.

The inclusion shall comply with Articles from 32 to 42, Articles 44, 45, 47, and Clause 1 Article 48 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents.

– Standing Committee of the National Assembly shall submit a report to the National Assembly at the nearest meeting on adjustments to the law/ordinance formulation program.

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Frequently asked questions

Shall law/ordinance formulation programs be planned annually according to policies of Communist Party?

 Law/ordinance formulation programs shall be planned annually according to policies of Communist Party, the State, socio-economic development strategy, national defense and security strategy, and state management requirements in each period so that to ensure human rights, basic rights and obligations of citizens.

When shall the National Assembly decide the law/ordinance formulation program?

The National Assembly shall decide the law/ordinance formulation program at the first meeting session of the previous year.

Who are entitled to request law/ordinance formulation?

The President, Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Ethnic Council, Committees of the National Assembly, the Government, the People’s Supreme Court, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, State Audit Office of Vietnam, Central Committee of Vietnamese Fatherland Front, central agencies of associate organizations of Vietnamese Fatherland Front who are entitled to submit law projects to the National Assembly and ordinance projects to Standing Committee of the National Assembly are entitled to request law/ordinance formulation.

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