NA deputies be­moan Gov’t's in­con­sis­tent sub­mis­sions of drafts

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Law­mak­ers com­plain about an abrupt re­quest to mod­ify an al­ready-ap­proved agenda and with­draw a le­gal project, while in­clud­ing new projects for re­view

HÀ NỘI Na­tional As­sem­bly (NA) deputies aired their griev­ances about the Govern­ment's fail­ure to sub­mit draft laws for par­lia­men­tary re­view in line with the agenda, dur­ing a dis­cus­sion held on Fri­day to look at leg­isla­tive build­ing for 2020-21.

Most of the com­plaints were re­gard­ing the Govern­ment’s abrupt re­quest to mod­ify an al­ready-ap­proved agenda and with­draw a le­gal project due to lack of prepa­ra­tion, while in­clud­ing new projects for re­view with the NA ple­nary ses­sion just around the cor­ner, giv­ing leg­is­la­tors lim­ited time to fully con­sider their pros and cons.

Triệu Thị Thu Phương, a deputy from Bắc Kan Prov­ince, said that in 2019 the Govern­ment wanted to add nine draft bills and de­lay the sub­mis­sion of four draft bills, not to men­tion a num­ber of other bills that they wanted to with­draw com­pletely from the agenda.

The min­istries and agen­cies in charge of draft­ing the laws were also late in send­ing the re­lated doc­u­ments and files to the NA del­e­ga­tions, Phương con­tin­ued.

Even with dis­cus­sions for the Law on Pro­mul­ga­tion of Le­gal Nor­ma­tive Law, the Amended En­ter­prise Law, and the Law on Con­struc­tion set for next week, NA deputies are still wait­ing for the lat­est re­vi­sions from the Govern­ment.

Shar­ing Phương’s opin­ion, Nguyễn Thị Kim Bé from Kiên Giang Prov­ince said that while the leg­isla­tive agenda for 2020 and 2021 was built with more con­sid­er­a­tion for flex­i­bil­ity and open­ness, and the over­all pre­pared­ness was com­mend­able, there were still ar­eas that needed to im­prove.

Land law de­lays

Deputy Bé also specif­i­cally called for ac­count­abil­ity from those in charge of the much-an­tic­i­pated amended Law on Land, which was re­quested to be pulled from the agenda al­to­gether on the grounds of in­suf­fi­cient prepa­ra­tions after it was post­poned from the dis­cus­sions at the pre­vi­ous sit­ting of the NA.

The law and man­age­ment is­sues are di­rectly re­lated to peo­ple’s prop­erty and land. The lion’s shares of le­gal com­plaints from the pub­lic were to do with land dis­putes, Bé said, at­tribut­ing the is­sue to the opaque land le­gal frame­work in ad­di­tion to in­ad­e­quate ca­pac­ity among State agen­cies.

Deputy Vũ Tiến Lộc from Thái Bình Prov­ince also ex­pressed re­gret over the set­backs to the land law, say­ing that land was a huge re­source for na­tional de­vel­op­ment while the cur­rent law was sim­ply not sat­is­fac­tory.

Lộc asked to ex­pe­dite the progress of the law, even mak­ing this a cen­tral task for the NA’S leg­isla­tive agenda.

Re­spond­ing to queries from NA deputies, Min­is­ter of Jus­tice Lê Thành Long said the agency in charge – the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment – had not “in­vested max­i­mum ef­forts” in for­mu­lat­ing the law.

How­ever, a year ago, the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of Việt Nam passed a Res­o­lu­tion on land pol­icy ren­o­va­tion, and a re­view of this Res­o­lu­tion will be con­ducted in 2021, which means that the land law will also have to wait un­til the as­sess­ments and pub­lic feed­back are in.

As per an ap­proved pro­gramme, at the 9th sit­ting this May, the NA will re­view and adopt 10 draft laws that were de­bated at the 8th sit­ting in Oc­to­ber last year along with the leg­isla­tive agenda for 2021, and dis­cuss seven other le­gal projects.

In­ter­na­tional agree­ment law

The draft Law on In­ter­na­tional Agree­ments was de­bated ear­lier the same day.

Deputy Min­is­ter and For­eign Min­is­ter Phạm Bình Minh said the is­suance of the law was nec­es­sary.

The bill con­sists of seven chap­ters with 53 ar­ti­cles, stip­u­lat­ing the ju­ris­dic­tion, order, and pro­ce­dures for sign­ing, amend­ing, sup­ple­ment­ing, ex­tend­ing, end­ing the va­lid­ity, and sus­pend­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­ter­na­tional agree­ments.

The en­act­ment of the law will cre­ate the le­gal ba­sis for the in­sti­tu­tion­al­i­sa­tion of the Party’s guide­lines on in­ter­na­tional in­te­gra­tion.

The law will ad­just reg­u­la­tions on sign­ing in­ter­na­tional agree­ments in ac­cor­dance with newly pro­mul­gated and amended laws, namely the 2014 Law on Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, 2015 Law on Lo­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion, 2016 Law on In­ter­na­tional Treaties and 2017 Law on Pub­lic Debt Man­age­ment.

It also re­places the or­di­nance on the sign­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­ter­na­tional agree­ments which was ap­proved by the NA Stand­ing Com­mit­tee and has served a le­gal foun­da­tion since 2007 has now proved to be out­dated in the new con­text, he said.

While agree­ing that the draft law is rel­e­vant to the 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion and in­ter­na­tional agree­ments that Việt Nam is a mem­ber of, many NA deputies said it was nec­es­sary to clar­ify the na­ture of the in­ter­na­tional agree­ments to serve as a ba­sis for de­ter­min­ing the scope of the Law, avoid­ing over­lap­ping with the 2016 In­ter­na­tional Treaties Law as well as en­sure con­sis­tency be­tween the pro­vi­sions of this draft law and the le­gal sys­tem.

There is cer­tain bind­ing at dif­fer­ent lev­els be­tween the par­ties in­volved in any in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ment, they said.

When ac­cept­ing the bind­ing of an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment, it was nat­u­ral to ac­cept the rights and obli­ga­tions of the sig­na­tory, es­pe­cially when the sig­na­tory in­cludes the State and the Govern­ment. This will over­lap with the pro­vi­sions of the 2016 In­ter­na­tional Treaties Law.

The law and or­di­nance mak­ing pro­gramme for 2020 and 2021 was also dis­cussed by the NA on Fri­day.

Pre­sent­ing the or­di­nance mak­ing pro­gramme, Chair­man of the NA’S Com­mit­tee for Le­gal Af­fairs Hoàng Thanh Tùng said although progress had been made in law mak­ing work, there re­mained short­com­ings which should be solved.

Most of the com­plaints were re­gard­ing the Govern­ment’s abrupt re­quest to mod­ify an al­ready-ap­proved agenda and with­draw a le­gal project due to lack of prepa­ra­tion, while in­clud­ing new projects for re­view.

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