The Center in Vietnam
For the last two decades, as a result of liberalized economic policies adopted in 1986, Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth and greater integration into the international community. In the process, Vietnam has faced many structural challenges in its efforts to deal with changing circumstances and to meet international legal standards. With help from international donors and Vietnamese reformers, Vietnam has been implementing reforms to strengthen the capacity of the legal profession, members of the National Assembly, and its administrative system; to implement anti-corruption mechanisms; and to promote grassroots democracy. At the same time, Vietnamese public opinion is calling for even greater reform, transparency, accountability and government effectiveness. The citizens have been demanding an increased right to participate in public affairs to supervise these reform efforts.
Reformers of different countries in the world may share the same general aspirations for their countries. However, the way and means to achieve these goals differ greatly, depending on the context of a particular society. For that reason, the Center adopts a contextualized research and reform approach. Its research projects take into consideration the history, culture, current situation and needs of the country, with emphasis on researchers’ knowledge about the society in which they are working.
The Center’s Vietnam program currently has two goals:
- The Center advises reform-minded Vietnamese leaders on promising directions for constitutional development in Vietnam.
- Center personnel advise members of the United States government on Vietnamese affairs.
Advisory Work in Vietnam
Historically, Center personnel have advised the Democratic Party of Vietnam on proposing a platform for democratic constitutional reforms. The proposals, which include broad constitutional principles and a bill of rights, were published on December 31, 2010. See The Democratic Party of Vietnam’s constitutional reforms proposals (in Vietnamese) below:
- Đảng Dân chủ Việt Nam giới thiệu đề xuất soạn thảo hiến pháp của toàn dân
- Phần I: Tại sao Việt Nam cần sửa đổi căn bản và toàn diện hiến pháp
- Phần II: Bản đề xuất khung Hiến pháp của toàn dân với các điều khoản về quyền con người
Working within the context of the current situation in Vietnam, the Center has also published short papers on constitutionalism, individual rights, and democracy, which have been translated and published inside Vietnam. Links to these papers can be found here:
- Checks and Balances
- The Importance of a Democratic Constitution
- The Rule of Law and Constitutions
- Human Rights
- Judicial Independence
Advisory Work in the United States
The Center advises the US State Department and the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on constitutionalism in Vietnam.