To continue renewing legislative operation of national assembly to perfect synchronously developed institution, establish firm legal framework for national development and integration
Communist Review - Legislative operation of the National Assembly of the past legislatures has seen a lot of renovations and obtained the important results, leaving a lot of prominent imprints. However, the requirements of development of the new period have posed the greater tasks, the heavier responsibilities for the legislative operation of the National Assembly in order to create the synchronous legal framework to take the country to the fast and sustainable development, to increase the effectiveness of international integration and to defend firmly the socialist Fatherland.
Legislative operation of National Assembly in recent time creates firm legal basis and makes important contribution to national development
Inheriting and promoting the achievements recorded in the past 76 years of construction, renovation and development, especially after the 2013 Constitution was approved, on the basis of the stipulations of the Constitution, the National Assembly has made relentless efforts to renew its legislative activities, built and issued a great number of legal documents (1), with the ever more improved quality, so it is timely to institutionalize the advocacies and lines of the Party and accelerate the economic and social development and international integration of the country.
The National Assembly has concentrated on considering and approving a lot of important laws, inclusive of all fields of the political, economic and social life, science-technology, health care, environment, social security, security, national defence and foreign relations of the country. Then, it has created the synchronous legal basis for the renewal and improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of the operation of the State apparatus; promoted democracy and the people’s right to mastery; enhanced the economic development, respected the right to business freedom, equality among the economic sectors; ensured social security; environmental protection; promoted the judiciary reform, the administrative reform, built the socialist rule-of-law State with many contents of renewal and progress conforming to the realities and international practices. It has concretized and perfected the mechanism to ensure the implementation of human rights, the civil rights; accelerated the struggle to prevent and combat against crimes, corruption, ensured social order and safety; consolidated national defence, security and solid defence of the Fatherland; expanded the foreign relations and strengthend international integration.
In face of the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it is still the first year of its legislature, the National Assembly, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, 15th legislature, are proactive to consider in time and passed some important resolutions, creating the necessary legal basis for the Government, local administrations at different levels to take the flexible, special, resolute and effective measures in prevention and combat against the epidemic, ensure social security, the people’s life, step by step remove difficulties for enterprises and restore the economy (2), together with the resolutions on the economic and social development, on finance, budget, the middle-term public investment, on the restructure of the economy, the synchronous solutions, the financial, monetary and social security bailout packages; the resolutions on trial basis on a number of special mechanisms and policies for big economic key cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang; Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Thua Thien-Hue provinces with the breakthroughs in policies in order to create the motive force for new economic growth have been urgently studied by the functional agencies and then submitted to the National Assembly and the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for approval.
On the sphere of being proactive and active in international integration, the National Assembly has also ratified a lot of new generation free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the European Union and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (CVFTA), the European Union and Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). It has considered and approved many laws with the aim of perfecting the legal framework to meet the requirements of being proactive and active in international integration and implementing the international commitments in conformity with the interests of countries.
The National Assembly has always determined clearly that to make the law go into life, first of all, the legal work must start from the realities of life, ensuring that “life must go into law and law must meet the requirements of realities”. So, the codes, laws, ordinances and resolutions of the National Assembly, of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly which have been promulgated are always based on the theoretical study, realities summary, selected references of foreign experience, full assessment of impacts of policies, consultation of opinions of experts, scientists and especially the objects under direct impact of the law projects.
In the process of consideration and approval of the law projects and drafted resolutions, the National Assembly has attached importance to ensuring the Constitutonal, legal, unified and synchronous character of the law system; improved and renewed the law-making process in accordance to democracy, promoted the proactiveness of the National Assembly, improved the quality, ensured the closeness and transparency, upheld the responsibilities of each subject right from the link of making the program of building the laws and ordinances, drafting and examining to the reception and adjustment of the projects and drafts before submitting them to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
The resuls achieved in the legislative activities of the National Assembly have made an important contribution to establishing the feasible, unified, synchronous, quality, stable, full and fundamental law system; institutionalized in time the Party’s lines and advocacies before the requirements of the new situation, thus accelerating the national development and intensive and extensive international integration.
Apart from the achieved results, the legislative activities of the National Assembly have still got certain limitations and inadequacies. The law system, fundamentally embracing and comprehensive as it is, is yet to meet in time the requirements of realities, is yet to respond fast to the vigorous development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in each specific field; its stability is yet to be high. Some great viewpoints and orientations have been mapped out in the documents of the Party and in the stipulations of the Constitution, but the institutionalization is yet to be in time and sufficient. The synchrony, unification and feasibility in the stipulations of some legal documents are yet to be high; it is not yet to overcome thoroughly the state of overlapping, conflict and lack of unification among some legal documents. The adaptability of the legal system before the fast developments of realities remain limited. A number of stipulations have still got inadequacies, causing the impediment to development, but they are slow in being studied, amended and removed.
New context and requirement of continuing renovation, enhancing legislative operation of National Assembly
In the past years, under the leadership of the Party, our country has been experiencing vigorous, comprehensive and synchronous renovations and has recorded the great achievements of historic significance. The position, strength and synergy of our country have been constantly raised; the political and social situation is stable, the economy has developed, the national defence and security have been firmly maintained, consolidated and enhanced. Socialist democracy has been promoted; education and training, science and technology, culture, society and health care have seen a lot of developments; social security has been guaranteed and been paid with ever more attention and the people’s life continues to be improved. The foreign relations and international integration have become ever more intensive, extensive and effective. Our country is always proactive and active in taking part in a lot of bilateral and multilateral agreements and the new generation free trade agreements. These are the important precedents, creating the basis and motive force for national development in the coming time. The economy of Vietnam has been appraised as one of the prospective economies in the region and the world.
Besides, in the coming time, Vietnam will also have to face with a number of issues such as “the internal difficulties and limitations of the economy have made no small impacts on the economic and social development and environmental protection” (3). Climate change, natural disasters, epidemic have developed more complicatedly, making negative impacts on production and people’s life in many localities. The country’s important partners and markets have also been seriously impacted. This fact has been posing a lot of challenges in various aspects to the national development.
At present, the world has been undergoing the period of fast and complicated developments in terms of security, politics and economy with the opportunities and advantages having been intermingled with difficulties and challenges. Especially, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the knowledge-based economy continue to be enhanced and developed with the technological breakthroughs in many fields and have governed deeply the process of development of mankind and made direct impact on all countries. Accordingly, with the appearance of a series of the new economic and social phenomena, such as the appearance and circulation of various kinds of codified assets formed on the basis of the blockchain technology such as Bitcoin, Ethereum; the appearance and more popularity of the “borderless” transactions being implemented 24/7 through the support of information technology and communications such as the E-Banking services of the banks, all of these have changed the mode and content of the legal relations.
The adjusted content of the law is not only limited in the traditional objects, but also expanded further, because many new objects and new social relations have appeared in the context of international integration and the Fourth Industrial Revolution that has led to the new requirements in adjusting the law and in the way of organizing the law making work. In the meantime, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have developed complicatedly for a long time, so it is difficult to control it, resulting in having made negative impacts on the region’s and the world’s economy, including Vietnam, thus changing the economic structure, the governing mode and the global economic and social life, forcing many countries to change their development orientations and strategies in the direction of upholding the spirit of self-reliance, self-strengthening with attention being paid to investment and development of the domestic market.
With the achieved results in building and perfecting the legal system and the difficulties and challenges in the new context, it is demanded that the legislative operation of the National Assembly, 15th legislature, should be enhanced further with the requirement of building the developed mechanism to ensure the legal basis for the continuity of vigorous renovation and resolute, dynamic and creative actions, to make full use of time and advantages to overcome difficulties and challenges, thus creating new motive force to take our country to the fast and sustainable development.
Continuing to orientate renewal of legal activities of National Assembly to perfect synchronously mechanism to take country to fast and sustainable development in new stage
To obtain the goal of perfecting synchronously the development institution, establishing the legal framework to successfully implement the tasks of the economic and social development in the 2021 - 2025 period, orientating the national development, 6 key tasks and 3 strategic breakthroughs mapped out by the 13th Party Congress, it is necessary to have a lot of elements, in which the quality of the law system is one of the contents of paramount importance.
With its role as the agency that carries out the constitutional and legislative rights, the National Assembly needs to continue to renew vigorously its legislative activities, promote “its role and position in setting up the legal framework for the activities of the country, serving the task of the economic and social development, ensuring national defence, security and foreign relations. To accelerate the speed and improve the quality of issuing the legal documents; to soon build the sufficient and synchronous legal system, to ensure the quality and meet the requirements of the realities. To prioritize the new building and addition of the laws in the key areas of core significance with high feasibility, thus creating the breakthrough in the economic and social development (4).
On the basis of the Conclusion No. 19-KL/TW, on October 14, 2021 of the Political Bureau “On the orientation of the program of law making of the National Assembly, 15th legislature”, the legal activities in the coming time should be continued to institutionalize completely and in time the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress and the documents, resolutions, conclusions and directives of he Party Central Committee, the Political Bureau and the Secretariat; continued to concretize the Constitution; closely follow the practical requirements of national management, the economic and social development and international integration, contributing to treating harmoniously the major relations in building, defending and developing the country, such as “Between the stability, renovation and development; between the economic renovation and the political renovation; between the compliance with the market law and the guarantee of socialist orientation; between the State, market and society; between the economic growth and cultural development, the implementation of social progress and equality, environmental protection; between independence, autonomy and international integration; between the Party’s leadersip, the State’s management and the people’s mastery; between the practice of democracy and enhancement of legislature, ensurance of social discipline” (5).
To meet these requirements, the legal activities in the coming time should thoroughly grasp and guarantee 8 orientations to perfect the following legal system:
Firstly, to continue to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of perfecting the institution of developing the socialist-oriented market economy, focus on removing the bottlenecks that obstruct development. To be able to obtain the targets in building and perfecting the institution mapped out by the 13th Party Congress, it is necessary to concentrate on these priporities: To perfect the institution of the socialist-oriented market economy, to speed up the rapid and sustainable growth on the basis of firmly maintaining the stability of macroeconomy. To perfect policies and laws to ensure the restructure of the economy in association with the renovation of growth model, increase of productivity, quality, effectiveness and competitiveness. To perfect the legal system, to develop the system of infrastructure and urban areas. To concentrate on removing the bottlenecks that obstruct the development through the timely review, amendment and addition of mechanisms and policies which still have inadequacies, contradictions, overlapping, insufficiency or impediment; to amend, replace the mechanisms or policies which are no longer suitable to realities so as to settle the accumulated problems, causing losses and wastes; in necessary cases, it needs to promulgate the Omnibus Law or an experimental resolution for the arising issues already stipulated in the law or already there but there are still a lot of impediments and inadequacies, no longer suitable to realities.
Secondly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of fundamental and comprehensive renovation of education and training, improve quality of human resources, human development; to accelerate innovation, transfer, application and vigorous development of science and technology; to build and promote the cultural value and strength of the Vietnamese. In which, it is necessary to perfect the law on education and training in order to improve the people’s intellectual standard, develop the high quality human resources; to perfect the law in order to create the legal corridor on the scientific and technological market, to promote the study, transfer, vigorous application of the achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, creating the legal base for the maximal use of achievements and active impacts, to limit to the maximum the negative impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with a view to bringing about the best interests to the people, enterprises and society, to protect the people, enterprises and the State before the consequences that could happen. To advance to build and perfect the legal framework for the operation of the information technological industry, the digital industry; to build the healthy cultural, moral and social environment; to build the institution directed towards combining culture, sports and tourism with the economic activities, to exploit the economic and financial potential to support the cultural, sport and tourist development.
Thirdly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of management and development of sustainable society, to ensure the social progress and equality. Accordingly, it is necessary to perfect the law on social security, the central point is the law on jobs and social insurance; to ensure the policy on labour and social welfare; to ensure the coverage. The law has adjusted in time the arising elements due to the impacts from COVID-19 pandemic; to perfect the law on health care to improve the service quality, to ensure the people’s right to get access to the services of safe health care, from it to improve population quality.
Fourthly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of management and effective use of land, resources, environmental protection, to be proactive to adapt to climate change. In which, it is necessary to perfect the law so as to mobilize, distribute and use effectively land and resources, to ensure the openness, ransparency and overcome the state of disputes, claims, corruption and waste; to settle harmoniously the relationship between the economic development, the guarantee of social equality and environmental protection and effective response to climate change.
Fifthly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of enhancing national defence and security, firmly defending the socialist Fatherland of Vietnam. To concentrate on treating such problems as to continue to legalize for the legal basis to implement successfully the strategies: The Strategy of protection of the Fatherland, the Strategy of national defence, the Military Strategy, the Strategy of protection of national security, the Strategy of protection of national border and the Strategy of defence of the Fatherland in cyber space.
Sixthly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of deploying synchronously, creatively, effectively the foreign relations, to be proactive and active in the comprehensive, intensive and extensive international integration. To attach importance to sufficient, timely and suitable internalization of the international treaties to which Vietnam is a member, meeting the requirements of implementing the international commitments, particularly the international treaties on the liberalization of new generation trade (such as EVFTA, CPTPP and so on). To be proactive and active in contributing to building and shaping the multilateral institutions (Particularly the multilateral forums on law) and the region (Particularly the ASEAN Community) on the basis of advocacies on international integration of the Party and the State; to be proactive in shifting from the stage of participating in the predetermined “rules of the game” to be proactive in particioating in the suggestions and initiative of “the rules of the game) in the international treaites to which Vietnam is a member. To build the mechanism suitable to the international practices so as to be able to have the fast response to the developments of the world market, at the same time to apply the stipulations in a flexible way in the international commitments so as to ensure the interests of the country-nation. To pay attention to the legal issues in settling the international trade and investment disputes.
Seventhly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of promoting the strength of the great national unity, socialist democracy and the people’s right to mastery.; to continue to concretize fully human rights, civil rights. To perfect synchronously the system of law, mechanism and policies to promote vigorously socialist democracy, the right to mastery and the objective role, the central position of the people; to implement well the political and legal relationship “The Party leads, the State manages, the people are masters”. To perfect the legal basis so as to carry out correctly and effectively direct democracy, representative democracy, especially democracy in the grass-roots. To build the legal basis to institutionalize and ensure the effective implementatipon of the motto “The people know, the people discuss, the people do, the people inspect, the people supervise and the people enjoy the benefits”. To continue to build and perfect the policies and laws in ethnicity in order to promote the economic development together with the guarantee of social security to the people in the ethnic minority areas, at the same time to have the specific policy to develop culture in these areas.
Eightly, to build and perfect the law to meet the requirements of building and perfecting the socialist rule-of-law State. With the aim of building the pure and strong socialist rule-of-law State, building the apparatus organization of the streamlined political system that operates efficiently and effectively, for the people and for the development of the country; to implement “the legislative reform, enhance the legislature, to ensure discipline” (6), the perfection of the legal system needs “to determine more clearly the role, position, function, task and rights of the state agencies in carrying out the legislative, executive and judiciary rights on the basis of the rule-of-law principles, enruring that the State’s power is unified with the clear-cut distribution, close coordination and the enhancement of inspection of the State’s powers” (7). To enhance the decentralizsation, the separation of powers; to build the State-run administration to serve the people, democracy, rule-of-law, profession, modernity, purity and strength, o ensure the openness, transparency, unified, through, efficient and effective management. To implement well the State’s function, settle correctly the relationship between the State, the market and the society.
To ensure the implementation of the above-mentioned orientations, in the coming time, the National Assembly has put forth the following main solutions:
Firstly, it is necessary to continue to enhance the capacities of the subjects that participate in the process of law making, specifically: To continue to renew the mode, improve the effectiveness of the operation of the National Assembly, particularly to renew the mode of discussion on the law projects at the sessions of the National Assembly. To enhance the inspection activities of the National Assembly, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, the Nationality Council, the Commissions of the National Assembly, the delegations of the deputies of the National Assembly, the individual deputies of the National Assembly, particularly the inspection of the legal documents and then it is possible to request the Government and the relevant agencies to make their urgent proposals, amendments and additions to the legal documents, ordinances and resolutions from which, in fact, there have arisen the impediments and inadequacies. To organize effectively and improve the quality of the activities of the People’s Councils, of the Commissions of the National Assembly. To promote the role of the people, of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, of the political and social organizations in contributing their opinions and social debates to the law projects, ordinances and resolutions. To enhance the attraction of experts, scientists, the practical activitist, the objects under the direct impact of the policies and the relevant objects to contribute to the legislative work of the National Assembly and of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly.
To be proactive and active to make the most of the effectiveness of the international principles and laws; to enlist the experience of law making of the countries; to organize effectively and enhance the State’s management of the activities of international cooperation in law making. To raise the role of the research and advisory agencies in supporting the deputies of the National Assembly to prepare the petition documents on laws, ordinances, the proposed files to build the law, ordinance, in the process of drafting the law projects, ordinances summited by the National Assembly deputies. To increase gradually the quantity of the National Assembly deputies in special operation; to promote the capacities of the contingent of cadres and civil servants getting involved in law making in the direction of professional and modern way; to modernize the mode and means of law making. To renew the mechanism of financial disctribution for the legislative work.
Secondly, to ensure the effective implementation of the law-making process, specifically, to increase the proactiveness of the National Assembly, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, the Nationalities Council, the Commission of the National Assembly, the deputies delegations of the National Assembly, the individual National Assembly deputies in terms of law making. To increase the quality of making the Law- and ordinance-making Program, particularly the quality of the petition making, the law- and ordinance-making proposals. To promote the proactiveness, activeness, the sense of responsibility of the subjects in the process of making and promulgating the laws, ordinances and resolutions, particularly the role of the Government in its capacity as the agency to submit the project; to continue to study, improve and renew the law-making process in the direction of reseanable and clear distribution and repartition of missions and promote to the maximum the capacities, improve the responsibilities of each subject in the law- and ordinance-making process.
Thirdly, to ensure discipline in law making. To overcome the state of affairs that the legal documents lack their stability, with “framework law”, “pipe law”, with slow promulgation of the writings of detailed stipulations and implementation guidance. At the same time, to tighten closely the discipline, uphold the responsibilities, particularly the heads in law-making; to combat against negativity right in the law-making, without being governend and impacted by the unhealthy behaviours of any organizations and individuals, particularly the state of fitting in the “group interests”, “local interests” in the legal documents. Besides, it must be careful and certain in building and promulgating legal documents and resolutions, with each link having to be done well, with very high demand for quality, without running after the quantity; it is necessary to follow closely and in time to meet the requirements of realities. Those urgent issues which are urgent, ripe, clear, proven in realities with high unification, can be built into law and can be issued; those issues, urgent and necessary as they are, but still new without a high consensus, they can carried out on a trial basis. In the immediate, it is not the time to deploy the building of the law project with the complicated contents with a lot of conflicting ideas, so it needs to reserve some more time for more careful and cautious study (8).
In face of the world context with a lot of complicated and unpredictable changes and the requirements of the industrialization and modernization in the spirit of the Program of national construction in the transitional period to socialism (added and developed in 2011) and the Documents of the 13th Party Congress, it has posed to the National Assembly and the National Assembly agencies with the new tasks with the ever higher demands. Inheriting the achievements of the previous legislatures, the 15th National Assembly continues to promote the achievements and lessons of experience of the National Assembly of the previous legislature, uphold the sense of responsibilities, unity, mind, creativity, vigorous renovaton, inification of willpower and action, improve quality and effectiveness of organization as well as the acvitities in all fields, especially the law-making activities in the spirit to do it early and from a far, with the fast and timely policy response to meet the requirements of the eventful realities, in order to continue to perfect synchronously the developed institution, establish the firm legal framework for the country’s development and integration. Through it, to implement well the tasks of the supreme representative agency of the people and the supreme agency of power, making its worthy contribution to the common achievements of the country./.
(1) Only since May 2005, the National Assembly has issued over legal documents
(2) Like: The Resolution No. 30/2021/QH15, on July 28, 2021 of the National Assembly “On the first session of the 15th National Assembly”, the Resolution No. 32/2021/QH15 of the National Assembly on November 12, 2021, “On the economic and social development plan 2022”; the Resolution No. 268/NQ-UBTVQH15, on August 6, 2021, of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, “On the permit granted to the Government to issue the Resolution with some contents which are different from the stipulations of the law in order to meet the requirements of anti-COVID-10 epidemic prevention and combat”; the Resolution NO. 393/NQ-UBTVQH15, on September 30, 2021 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, “On the addition to the central budget reserve from the cut, reduced and saved source in expenditures of the central budget in 2021 for the spending of the anti-COVID-19 epidemic prevention”
(3) The documents of the 13th Party Congress, the Truth National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, tomb II, p. 6-7
(4) “The full text of the speech made by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the first session of the National Assembly, 15th legislature, from Webpage of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), on July 20, 2021, https://vov.vn/chinhtrii/toan-van-phat-bieu-cua-tong-bi-thu-tai-ky-hop-thu-nhat-quoc-hoi-khoa-xv-875336.vov
(5) The documents of the 13th Party Congress, Ibid, tomb I, p. 39
(6) The documents of the 13th Party Congress, Ibid, tomb II, p. 337
(7) The documents of the 13th Party Congress, Ibid, tomb I, p. 174-175
(8) See: Conclusion No. 19-KL/TW, on October 14, 2021, of the Political Bureau, “On the orientation of the law-making program, the 15th National Assembly”
This article was published in the Communist Review No. 984 (February 2022)