Vietnam – Lawmakers discuss methods of execution

Ha Noi — The relative merits of firing squads or lethal injections in carrying out capital punishment were debated by members of the National Assembly Standing Committee here yesterday.

The use of firing squads has put undue pressure on the law enforcement officials required to carry out the sentences, wrote Judical Committee Chairwoman Le Thu Ba in a report urging more humanitarian methods of enforcing death penalties.

Lethal injection would cause less pain, be easier to carry out and less costly, as well as less pschologically damaging to the executioners, Ba argued.

Law Committee Chairman Nguyen Van Thuan, Committee on Social Affairs Chairwoman Truong Thi Mai, National Assembly Office Director Tran Dinh Dan, and some other lawmakers voiced support for Ba’s position.

However, they acknowledged that at least a year would be needed for law enforcement officials to work out procedures for lethal injections, before submitting them to the Government for approval.

Firing squads would have to continue in the meantime, they said.

“When everything is ready for the practice of lethal injection, we’ll revise the law,” said National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu.

Lawmakers also discussed issues relating to releasing the body of an executed criminal of surviving family members, delayed enforcement of sentences, and the labour and labour products of prisoners.

The necessity for trade arbitrators to be suitably qualified outlined in the draft Law on Commercial Arbitration was also high on the agenda of the National Assembly Standing Committee’s last working session.

According to the committee’s report, qualifications were of great significance as the decisions made by arbitrators were vital to the rights and benefits of the parties concerned.

Properly qualified arbitrators would enhance the confidence of clients in arbitrators and arbitration organisations.

“Settling trade disputes through arbitration remains new in Viet Nam. Detailed requirements for arbitrators highlighted in the draft law are to ensure that Vietnamese arbitration companies employ suitable staff,” said the report.

According to one of the requirements stated in the draft law, arbitrators must be a university graduate or above and have at least five years of relevant experience. Only in special cases, can experts with high professional qualifications and practical experience be selected without these requirements.

Meanwhile, committee members suggested that arbitrators should have a law degree or at least four years ‘experience in the judicial sector.

The draft law also stipulates that judges, procurators, inspectors or officials of People’s Courts, People’s Procuracies, investigative bodies and executive agencies are not eligible for the role.

Contributing to the draft law, the committee members agreed not to set too many operational mechanisms for arbitration and suggested reviewing some clauses in laws used to settle disputes, arbitration forms and the authority and procedures of courts. — VNS

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