Opening the forum, Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc said that the forum is part of a plan to implement the initiative to strengthen mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters within the ASEAN, which was proposed by Vietnam and approved by the ASEAN justice ministries in 2005.

Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc speaking at the opening ceremony

He highlighted the rise in legal issues and efforts of ASEAN countries in promoting international judicial cooperation as well as adjusting their domestic laws regarding international justice to meet their own development requirements.

Ngoc held that in implementing the Vietnam’s initiative, ASEAN members have recognized the necessity to study and consult other international frameworks, especially the HCCH and its conventions on international justice. One obvious result is that more and more ASEAN member states are participating in the HCCH and relevant international conventions.

He noted that Vietnam joined the HCCH in 2013, The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption in 2012, the Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters in 2016, and the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters in 2020.

The country has also signed 18 agreements on bilateral mutual legal assistance in civil and trade with other countries, of which the latest one is with Thailand, which was signed on November 16, he said, adding that Vietnam has continued to consider the possibility of joining other international treaties on international law.

Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative Vietnam, said that as an active member of the HCCH and two of The Hague Conventions, Vietnam has seen the benefits of a common international framework on mutual legal assistance. Instead of signing bilateral agreements, joining  The Hague Conventions helps establish common guidelines applicable to all mutual legal assistance activities among member states, she said.

The official expressed her hope that Vietnam and other countries will share their experience with fellow ASEAN ,embers as part of this Law Forum, providing their unique and valuable insights in this area.

Khalidi said she expects discussions on how a common mutual legal assistance framework can increase the accuracy and efficiency in foreign-related civil and commercial cases, within ASEAN and beyond.

Source: VNA