Illustration photo. Photo: VNA
After the heroic victory of the
August Revolution on 2 September 1945, at the historic Ba Dinh Square,
President Ho Chi Minh solemnly read the Declaration of Independence,
giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam - a new type of
state, the first people's democratic state in Southeast Asia, bringing
the country to the era of independence and freedom. In the course of
leading the revolution, the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho
Chi Minh have creatively applied Marxism-Leninism and selectively
assimilated humankind’s quintessence on the rule of law state to build
and complete the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The line on building a law-governed State of the people, by the people and for the people was stated in Vietnam’s 1946, 1959, 1980, 1992 and 2013 Constitutions. Each of them constituted an important milestone in the process of building, consolidating and perfecting the State of Vietnam. Undergoing different revolutionary stages, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, with great support and help from the people, the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has constantly grown in all aspects, successfully fulfilled its glorious mission in the struggle for national liberation, reunification, construction and defense of the Fatherland.
Since the comprehensive renovation of the country, especially after the implementation of Resolution of the 3rd Plenum of the Party Central Committee, 8th Tenure on "Promoting the people’s mastery, continuing to build a clean and strong Socialist Republic of Vietnam," tremendous progress has been made in the construction and completion of the State. Renovation has been made in the Party’s leadership towards the State and society, ensuring the Party leadership while promoting the state agencies’ proactivity. The nature of the working class, national and people characters of the State have been maintained and strengthened. Viewpoints and principles on organization of state power, construction and completion of the rule of law socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people have been gradually completed. The 1992 and 2013 Constitutions, and a number of other laws and ordinances were promulgated, creating a legal framework for the State to manage every aspect of socio-economic life. State agencies, particularly administrative agencies have been reformed in terms of organization, apparatus, functions and duties and have operated more effectively. Assignment, coordination and control of power in the organization and operation of the state have been more clearly divided and positive progress has been made in implementation. Socialist democracy which constitutes the driving force to economical, cultural, and social development and improvement of people's lives has been promoted in various fields, exerting strong impact to unleash production force. Political democracy has made important stride; the National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels have been renovated with higher quality and efficiency. The Government and ministries have focused more on state management, macroeconomic management and resolve strategic issues related to people’s livelihood and the country. Continued attention has been given to administrative reform to remove obstacles and difficulties for citizens and businesses. Many Party lines and orientations on judicial reform have been institutionalized in the Constitution and laws and strictly implemented, achieving important initial results. People's Court, People's Procuracy, lawyers' organizations, judicial supporting agencies have been strengthened in terms of organization and improved their operation, better protecting the interests of the State and the legitimate rights of agencies, organizations and individuals, and limiting injustice, and untried crimes.
Currently, Vietnam is entering a period of accelerated industrialization, modernization and international integration with mixed opportunities, advantages, disadvantages and challenges. In this context, the requirement and tasks to continue building and completing the rule of law socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people are very urgent. The Resolution of the 12th Party Congress emphasized: "Continuing to build and complete the rule of law socialist state led by the Party is the key task of renewing the political system .... Building the rule of law socialist state must be carried out synchronously in legislative, executive, judicial aspects, and be carried out synchronously with the renovation for a streamlined, effective and efficient political system along with economical, cultural, and social renovation."
For a clean and strong State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam which effectively and efficiently manages and runs the country, it is imperative to be fully aware of Ho Chi Minh Thoughts about the Party leadership towards the State: "The nature of the State is the basic issue of the Constitution. It is a matter of class nature of the administration. To whom does the administration belong to and to whom does it serve? These decide the entire contents of the constitution.... The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the people's democratic state, based on the alliance of workers and farmers led by the working class." (1) The State’s close association of class nature with national and people characters profoundly demonstrates the will and aspirations of the people, because the fundamental interests of the working class, nation and people are unified. It is necessary to maintain and strengthen the Party leadership towards the State and society, be consistent in following Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought, socialist goals and path, prevent and reverse the degradation of political ideology, ethics and lifestyle, manifestation of internal "self-evolution," and "self-transformation" as set out by the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 12th Party Congress on strengthening Party building and rectification. Build a clean and strong State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam which is close to and understand the people, ensuring virtually all power belongs to the people. Encourage people’s actively participation in policy and law making, and monitoring the implementation of policies and laws of the state agencies through different platforms. Only when the government is clean, trusted and supported by the people can national defense and security, independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity be safeguarded, creating a driving force for economical, cultural, and social development, and elevating Vietnam's prestige in the international arena.
Continue to build and complete the rule of law socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people is the basic guideline to promote socialist democracy, ensuring that all state power belongs the people; the State power is unified, with the assignment, coordination and control between the state bodies to exercise legislative, executive, judicial rights. Expanding democracy must go hand in hand with strengthening discipline; rights must be coupled with responsibility and obligations; democracy is institutionalized into law and democracy is exercised in the framework of law. Strengthen monitoring and inspection, considering them as an important and effective tool to ensure state management efficiency, and law and order. Step up inspection activities in public agencies and organizations; highlight the responsibility of the superior’s supervision of subordinate organizations, of administrations at all levels over all agencies and organizations in localities and territory. Mobilize the power of the entire political system and people in the fight against crimes, and in defense of security and order. Overcome indiscipline, radical democracy, democracy abuse to cause disorder; frustrate all schemes and activities of hostile and reactionary forces which take advantage of "democracy," "human rights," and "religion" to sabotage Vietnam.
Complete institutions, functions, tasks, methods and operational mechanism, and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of state management. Continue renewing the organization and operation of the institutions of the state apparatus to meet the requirements of the rule of law socialist state in the context of developing socialist-oriented market economy and in-depth international integration. Improve the quality and efficiency of the activities of elected bodies (the National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels) so that they really become the representative bodies of the people and the state power bodies in reviewing and deciding important issues of the country and localities. Complete and clearly define the organizational models of local administrations in line with the characteristics of rural and urban areas, islands, administrative-economic units prescribed by law. Strengthen linkage between the National Assembly oversight with supervision of the Party, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, socio-political organizations and people. The state administrative agencies must seriously abide by decisions of elected bodies in terms of responsibility and power prescribed by law and are subject to the control and supervision of elected bodies, the Fatherland Front Vietnam and people. Review, amend and supplement policies towards cadres and public employees to encourage them to improve their professional qualifications, service ethics, duty fulfillment; give attention to political acumen, ethics, virtue, lifestyle, capacity and efficiency of task implementation for their assessment, plan, promotion and appointment. Develop mechanisms and preferential policies to attract talents.
Step up administrative reforms, especially administrative procedures in the areas related to the operation of businesses and people's lives; build a democratic, modern, professional administration with effective state management, decrease and abolish cumbersome administrative procedures to best meet the legitimate demands of people and businesses. Clearly define the role and improve mechanism to better settle the relationship between the State and the market. Specify responsibility and accountability mechanisms of the state bodies, promote public service ethics, tighten discipline in directing and executing public services by officers and public employees. Use macro-management tools and economic role of the state to manage the market, regulate income, harmoniously combine economic growth with equity and social progress, and balance development between regions and people’s strata. Control the allocation, management and use of funds and public assets, do away with derelict, and fight against corruption, negative phenomena and wastefulness.
Clearly define the responsibility of administration at all levels, heads of state bodies in resolving complaints and denunciations of the people. Strictly handle acts of delaying, falsifying, illegal interference or evading responsibility in resolving complaints and denunciations. Build and complete regulations for people to express and exercise the right to lodge complaints and denunciations, build consensus in society; simultaneously prevent and strictly handle abuse of the right to lodge complaints and denunciations to distort, slander, disrupt security and order.
Strengthen socialist legal system in all three areas: legislation, execution, and judiciary. Focus on building a complete synchronous, open and transparent legal system in line with the national socio-economic development and extensive international integration. Closely direct the process of preparation and adoption of draft laws and ensure the thorough understanding and grasping of the Party viewpoints, summarize practices, selectively learn advanced legislative experience of foreign countries, and gather scientists and experts’ wisdom and people’s opinions, especially those relating to law enforcement. Codes and laws must be feasible and understandable with detail provisions to reduce the waiting time for developing detail regulations for implementation. Enhance legislation dissemination, explanation and education for people to understand and voluntarily abide by. Implement and strictly observe the law, fight against manifestation of disregarding law and order.
Along with strengthening social management by law, upholding the spirit of "rule of law," it is necessary to set store by political, ideological, moral, and cultural education, combine the power of law to moral and culture strength and public opinion. Enhance the role and responsibility of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and its members in building and protecting administration and ensuring people's right to mastery, strongly engaging people in state management and combat against corruption, wastefulness, bureaucracy and other negative phenomena in the state apparatus as well as in social life.
Clearly differentiate between administrative management and responsibility and judicial right in judicial agencies. Fully concretize the constitutional principles on the functions and duties of people's courts and people's procuracy. Continue to strengthen the organization investigating authorities by defining functions, duties, powers and improving the quality and efficiency of the operation of the investigating authorities. Pay attention to training and retraining, improving knowledge, professional skills in each judicial field, regularly update information on judicial international cooperation and related fields. Actively prepare a team of lawyers and officials of the judiciary who are capable of participating in proceedings with foreign elements and resolving international disputes to protect national interest, rights and legitimate and legal interests of agencies, organizations and individuals.
Step up review of practice, supplement and complete theory, draw lessons learned about the mechanism of the Party leadership and State management, the people’s mastery. On that basis, provide scientific theory for continued renovation of Party leadership towards the State and society for increasingly effective and efficient State activities and people’s engagement in the affairs of the State.
By continuing to promote the comprehensive, synchronized national renewal, take advantage of every opportunity, overcome all difficulties and challenges, it is certain that the cause of building and completing the rule of law socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people will win ever greater achievements, and Vietnam will develop quickly and sustainably to achieve the goal of "prosperous people, strong country, democratic, equitable and civilized society” and steadfastly advance to socialism.
(1) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, The National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2010, p. 12, p. 370
Source: This article was published in the Communist Review No. 891 (January 2017)