Australian Embassy

Bench Book

Media Releases - 2008

Media Release:  Development Cooperation  
Date: 8 December 2008   

Australia continues to support Viet Nam to improve its judicial system

Hanoi – Australia and Viet Nam will today pledge to work together to improve Viet Nam’s judicial system.

Australian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Mr Allaster Cox and Standing Deputy Chief of Justice of the Supreme People’s Court of Viet Nam Dr Dang Quang Phuong, will today sign on to a project to update the Vietnamese Judiciary’s Benchbook.

This latest commitment updates the original joint project by the SPC and AusAID to develop Vietnam’s first official Benchbook for judges.

“We highly support the Government of Viet Nam’s commitments and efforts to establish a transparent, fair, effective and efficient judicial system”, Mr Allaster Cox said.

“A new updated judicial Benchbook will help improve the professional and practical skills of the judiciary in court proceedings.”

The AUD 600,000 project has been funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam (SPC) will act as implementing agencies and the Federal Court of Australia will act as a co-managing agency.

“The Federal Court is honoured to work with the Supreme People's Court on such an important project and hopes it proves to be the first of many successful engagements and cooperation between the Courts,” Australian Federal Court Justice Michael Moore said.

Similar to the original project, the Standing Deputy Chief Justice of the SPC will lead the team. This team will include experienced judges and lawyers in Vietnam and will be assisted by a group of international experts provided by Federal Court of Australia.

This will support the SPC in drafting new parts of the Benchbook reflecting the recent significant legislative program undertaken in Vietnam. This latest team will revise existing chapters of the Benchbook based on comments and suggestions made by the law community. This will be accompanied by a series of training workshops for judges on the use of the Benchbook.

The original Benchbook has been approved by the SPC Judicial Council and has been distributed to judges and Bar Associations of Vietnam. It is available in hardcopy and on the Internet to allow for regular updates and hypertext links to a wide range of legal sources in Vietnam.

This project is expected to be completed by October 2009.