Rules for application and publishing of legislative documents

by Hà Ngọc

Vietnam law has regulations on effect of legislative documents; rules for application and publishing of legislative documents. Let’s find out this issue with Lawyer X through the following situation: “Dear Lawyer! I want to ask what are regulations on Publishing legislative documents on Official Gazette in Vietnam? What are Effective dates of legislative documents? Thanks for answering my questions!”

  • 2015 Vietnam Law on Promulgation of Legislative documents

Publishing legislative documents on Official Gazette

Legislative documents of central regulatory agencies must be published on Official Gazette of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, except for those that contain state secrets.

– Legislative documents of the People’s Councils and the People’s Committees of provinces, local governments of administrative – economic units must be published of official gazettes of their provinces.

– Legislative documents of the People’s Councils and the People’s Committees of districts and communes must be posted publicly and broadcasted on local media. Time and location for posting shall be decided by the President of the People’s Committee of the district or commune.

– Within 03 days from the publishing or signing date, the agency or person competent to promulgate legislative documents must send the document to the regulatory of Official Gazette (Vietnam News Agency) for publishing or publicly posting.

Vietnam News Agency shall publish the legislative document in full on the Official Gazette within 15 days if it is promulgated by a central regulatory agency or 07 days if it is promulgated by the People’s Council or the People’s Committee of a province or local government of a administrative – economic unit from the day on which the document is received.

– Legislative documents published on paper and electronic Official Gazette are official and as valid as the original documents.

– The Government shall provide regulations on Official Gazette and posting of legislative documents.

Effective dates of legislative documents

– The effective date of the whole or part of a legislative document shall be specified in the document. Nevertheless, the effective date is not sooner than 45 days from the day on which it is ratified or signed if it is promulgated by a central regulatory agency, or not sooner than 10 days from the day on which it is signed if it is promulgated by the People’s Council or the People’s Committee of a province, or not sooner than 07 days from the day on which it is signed if it is promulgated by the People’s Council or the People’s Committee of a district or commune.

– A legislative document promulgated under simplified procedures may come into force from the day on which it is ratified or sign and must be immediately published on information portal of the promulgating agency and posted on the media; such document must be published on Official Gazette of Socialist Republic of Vietnam or the province within 03 days from the day on which it is announced or signed.

Retrospective effect of legislative documents

– A law, resolution of the National Assembly, or legislative document of a central regulatory agency may have a retrospective effect if it is necessary for assurance of common interests, rights and interests of the entities regulated by the document.

– A document must not have retrospective effect in the following cases:

+ The document imposes a new legal liability upon an act which does not incur such legal liability when it is committed.

+ The document imposes a heavier legal liability.

– The legislative document is promulgated by the People’s Councils, the People’s Committee, or local government of a administrative – economic unit.

Suspension of legislative documents

– A legislative document shall be suspended in part or in full until a decision is issued by a competent authority in the following cases:

+ The document is suspended according to Clause 3 Article 164, Clause 2 Article 165, Clause 2 and Clause 3 Article 166, Clause 2 and Clause 3 Article 167 of Vietnam Law on Promulgation of legislative documents. The document will expire if the competent authority decides to annul it. Otherwise, its effect will be effective again;

+ A competent authority which promulgates the document decides to suspend it for a certain period of time to solve new socio-economic issues that arise.

– The time of suspension of effect, resumption of effect, or expiration of the document must be specified in a legislative document of a competent authority.

– The decision on suspension of a legislative document must be published on the Official Gazette and the media within 03 days from the day on which it is issued.

Expiration of legislative documents

A legislative document expires in part or in full in the following cases:

– The document expires on the expiration date written therein;

– The document is amended by or replaced with another legislative document which is promulgated by the same regulatory agency;

– The document is annulled by another document of a competent authority;

– When a legislative document expires, the documents elaborating it also expire.

Regulations on Geographical effect

– Legislative documents of central regulatory agencies are effective nationwide and applied to every organizations and individuals, unless otherwise prescribed by a legislative document of superior regulatory agency or an international agreement to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.

– Legislative documents of the People’s Council and the People’s Committee of an administrative division are effective within the administrative division. This must be specified in the documents.

If there are changes in administrative division, the geographical effect and regulated entities of legislative documents will change as follows:

+ If an administrative division is divided into multiple administrative divisions of the same level, the legislative documents promulgated by the People’s Council and the People’s Committee of the divided administrative divisions still apply to the new administrative divisions until the People’s Councils and the People’s Committees of the new administrative divisions promulgate substitute legislative documents;

+ If an administrative division is divided into multiple administrative divisions of the same level, the legislative documents promulgated by the People’s Council and the People’s Committee of the divided administrative divisions still apply to the new administrative divisions until they are replaced by legislative documents of the People’s Councils and the People’s Committees of the new administrative divisions;

+ If part of the geographical area and population of an administrative division is transferred to another administrative division, legislative documents of the People’s Council and the People’s Committee of the expanded administrative division will applied to the transferred geographical area and population.

Rules for application and publishing of legislative documents
Rules for application and publishing of legislative documents

Regulations on Application of legislative documents

– Legislative documents are applicable from their effective date.

Legislative documents shall be applied to the acts committed at the time such documents are effective, except for those that have retrospective effect.

– If various legislative documents contain different regulations on the same issue, the superior document shall apply.

– If various legislative documents promulgated by the same agency contain different regulations on the same issue, the one that is promulgated later shall apply.

– If the new legislative document does not contain legal liability or impose a less serious legal liability on the acts committed before the effective date of the document, the new document shall apply.

– Application of Vietnam’s legislative documents must not obstruct the implementation of the international agreements to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory. In case a Vietnam’s legislative documents other than the Constitution and an international agreement to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory contain different regulations on the same issue, the international agreement shall apply.

Regulations on Posting and publishing legislative documents

Legislative documents promulgated by central regulatory agencies, the People’s Councils and the People’s Committees must be posted in full on the national legal database within 15 days from the day on which they are announced or signed and published on the media, except for those that contain state secrets according to regulations of law on state secrets.

Legislative documents posted on the national legal database are official.

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Frequently asked questions

Must legislative documents of central regulatory agencies be published on Official Gazette?

 Legislative documents of central regulatory agencies must be published on Official Gazette of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, except for those that contain state secrets.

How long must the agency or person competent to promulgate legislative documents send the document to the regulatory of Official Gazette?

Within 03 days from the publishing or signing date, the agency or person competent to promulgate legislative documents must send the document to the regulatory of Official Gazette (Vietnam News Agency) for publishing or publicly posting.

Shall the effective date of the whole or part of a legislative document be specified in the document?

The effective date of the whole or part of a legislative document shall be specified in the document. Nevertheless, the effective date is not sooner than 45 days from the day on which it is ratified or signed if it is promulgated by a central regulatory agency, or not sooner than 10 days from the day on which it is signed if it is promulgated by the People’s Council or the People’s Committee of a province, or not sooner than 07 days from the day on which it is signed if it is promulgated by the People’s Council or the People’s Committee of a district or commune.

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