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Friday, 22 January 2016 08:53
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Application of Ho Chi Minh Thought on State to establish modern socialist law-ruled State of Vietnam

(LLCT) - Ho Chi Minh’s ideas of a law-ruled State were inspired by the theory and practice of building law-ruled states in the East and West. He also learned from the fundamental principles of Marxism - Leninism of State-related issues. His ideas covered the following points.

A meeting of Representatives of Hanoi People’s Council and voters of Hoang Mai District, 13 November, 2014

Firstly, a legitimate and constitutional State had to be established. Ho Chi Minh advocated a constitutional State and, in fact, he (1) wrote the Declaration of Independence, in which he affirmed that independence and sovereignty belonged to people, and because of which a new people’s State was born legitimately, (2) organized the General election in 1946, in which people elected their representatives to the People’s Assembly and People’s Councils at provincial and communal levels and the National Assembly established official State organizations, apparatus and positions with full legal validity so as to solve the country’s domestic and foreign issues and (3) approved the 1946 Constitution, which served as a milestone in the process of building a law-ruled State in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh laid down general principles of building a state apparatus. The National Assembly would be the highest-level authority of the country, which solves common national issues and formulates the Constitution and laws. The Government would be the highest-level law-enforcing body of the country, operates according to the Constitution and law. It would function as the nerve center regulating all managerial activities of state bodies in order to build a strong and efficient government, a modern and efficient administration from central to local and grassroots levels, and a strong, law-abiding judicial body.

Secondly, the law-ruled State had to govern the country by means of the law. Vietnam’s laws are originally designed for the sake of the working class and are democratic and protective of people’s rights to freedom and democracy. According to Ho Chi Minh, laws should not only punish people, but also protect them and work for their benefits. He realized the extreme importance of laws in state administration and social management. In addition, he made tremendous contributions to the building of the legal system of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (currently known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam). He was head of the drafting committees for the 1946 and 1959 Constitutions. He signed off 16 laws and approximately 1,300 bylaws, grounding the foundation for the country’s legal system was constantly supplemented and perfected.

In addition to building the legal system, he paid attention to popularizing laws. He advocated constant and long-term legal education for officers, Party members and the public, especially the young, so they could be aware of laws and abide by them. He believed that Party members, people in the justice sector and the police had to strictly obey the law so they could set good examples for the public. Party members were not allowed to use their status to ignore the Party’s discipline or the State’s laws, rather, they had to follow them strictly. People in the justice sector had to serve the interests of the public and protect the law. The police had to be fair and unbiased. They had to set good examples and maintain order and discipline.

Thirdly, morality and the law had to be closely combined in social management. Besides advocating the law-rule State, Ho Chi Minh paid attention to moral aspects in social management and combining it closely with laws in managing the society and country. He suggested that social management was not only about punishments but also rewards and things had to be fair. Those who did good deeds had to be rewarded while those found guilty had to be punished, according to the law. The National order of 26 January 1946 he signed off ten things that would be rewarded and ten crimes subject to the highest-level of punishment, the death penalty, indicated that guideline.            

Ho Chi Minh’s ideas of the law-ruled State were gradually realized and applied to the building of a socialist law-ruled State of Vietnam. Since the renovation cause, such building has been intensified. The state apparatus has been transformed in order to meet the country’s socio-economic development requirements. However, the building of the Rule of law remains limited or insufficient and therefore has not been able to satisfy needs for socio-economic development, national management and international integration.          

In the current period, it is necessary to apply Ho Chi Minh’s ideas of state to the building of a socialist law-ruled State of Vietnam. Specific tasks are as follows.

Firstly, it is necessary to continue building a socialist law-ruled State truly of, by and for people. The State apparatus must be constantly improved so all State power really belongs to people, i.e. the alliance of the working class, peasants and intellectuals led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. All forms of abuse of power for the sake of private interests must be overcome. The principle of centralized State power must be correctly understood and upheld. There must be coordination and cross-inspection between legislative, law-enforcing and justice sectors. The legal system must be continuously supplemented or perfected so it can monitor strictly the operation of legislative, law-enforcing and justice bodies and introduce corrective measures if necessary.  

Secondly, the performance of power-holding bodies, particularly legislative ones, must improve. The number of full-time delegates must increase. There must be more intensive question and answer sessions at the National Assembly and People’s Councils at various levels. The nomination of National Assembly and People’s Council delegates can change in such a way that there will be fewer nominations based on non-professional criteria such as gender, occupation or ethnic origin. There should be more capable delegates with profound knowledge of specific areas, particularly laws. Laws and bylaws must be quickly revised or perfected and introduced. Lack of guidance over the implementation of laws and decrees must be overcome.  

Thirdly, it is necessary to build a transparent, strong and efficient State administration. The general administrative reform must be continued in order to overcome limitations of the administration, especially those which are troublesome or cause discontent among the public. Adequate investment must be made in the modernization of the national administration. Special attention must be paid to building an e-government. The government needs to further improve the efficiency of its management, especially macro-level one, and quality of its institutional building, planning and prediction. It needs to be immediately updated with changes in all areas in the country and the world and introduce counter-measures on a timely basis. The organization of local authorities and their performance must be reviewed and evaluated. Accordingly, effective models should be multiplied elsewhere.

Fourthly, the reform of the justice sector must be intensified. Recently, the sector has undergone positive changes in its investigation, prosecution, trial and sentence execution. However, the reform remains slow or inconsistent. Some cases on investigation, detainment, prosecution or trial are inaccurate. The number of untried, cancelled or modified cases remains many. In order to overcome those limitations, it is necessary for justice bodies to coordinate with each other more closely and effectively. The performance of courts must improve. Independence, equality and lawfulness must be ensured during trials by courts at various levels. This is to ensure officers, Party members and the public have a strong faith in the strictness and clarity of the law. Social order and discipline must be tightened.

Fifthly, civil servants must be politically and professionally qualified. They play an extremely important role in the state apparatus and local authorities at all levels. Most of them are capable, professional and efficient. However, some of them are incapable and fail to fulfill their assignments. As a result, the state apparatus is cumbersome, costly and inefficient. It is, therefore, necessary to perform regular evaluation of civil servants, streamline political organi-zations by reducing the number of lifetime contracts and increasing that of short-term or work-based ones. Each position must have a clear job description. There should be competition so civil servants will make efforts at work and will not depend on others or their organizations. Rigorous recruitment procedures must be designed so as to employ people with high professional and moral standards. Training should be provided on a post-based basis in order to ensure professionalism. Professional development must be regularly provided so civil servants can be updated with new knowledge and improve their professional standards. In addition, they must be provided with moral education in order to become upright, unbiased and fully committed.

 

ASSOC. PROF. DR HUYNH THI GAM

Department of Ho Chi Minh Thought, Academy of Politics Zone 2

 

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