Recodification of Vietnamese Civil Law Based on Legislative Experience of the Netherlands
PhD student: Mr N. Do Giang
Promotors: Mrs Prof K. Boele-Woelki, Prof E.H. Hondius
Duration: 1/11/2013 - 31/3/2017
PhD defence: Utrecht, 4/12/2017
Since 1986 - the year of official endorsement of the Renovation (Doimoi) era, Vietnam has seen a rapid economic and social transformation. This transformation has been intertwined with a legal transplantation, and modernisation of Vietnamese legal system, especially the reception of civil law framework to lay foundation for the operation of the market economy and civil society in Vietnam. The first civil code of Vietnam after the re-union of the country was enacted in 1995. It is considered as an essential codification which marks an important progress in the legislative history of Vietnam. However, after 10 years, the 1995 Civil Code was replaced; and now there are various viewpoints on the 2005 Civil Code about the unfulfillment of its functions for the demand of economic and social development in Vietnam. Consequently, Vietnamese government has set up a drafting committee to revise the 2005 Civil Code, with the ambition of re-codifying a new civil code that can deal with existing dogmatic problems, along with reforming Vietnamese civil law in both structural and substantial aspects. To successfully re-codify, absorbing the ideal models for Vietnamese civil code from other countries will be essential. It is apparent that a developing country cannot wholesale copy the civil law of a developed country. A good legal framework in one jurisdiction may not work for another, as each country has its own economic, social and cultural context. However, it is much cost-effective to learn from developed countries, simultaneously make necessary adaptation than to come up with brand-new ideas. From the first impression, I could notice various characteristics that contribute to the reason of Dutch civil code being an ideal model for the upcoming Vietnamese civil code including among them are the facts that recodification of Dutch civil code was based upon extensive comparative research with a view to exporting the code to other countries; its special character of protecting economically weaker parties is matched to the ideal of the new econonomic model of VietNam-the socialist-oriented market economy - Nen kinh te thi truong dinh huong Xa hoi chu nghia\". This explains my choice of topic for the PhD dissertation: Recodification of the Vietnamese Civil Law Based on Legislative Experience of the Netherlands. The three major points will be: lessons learned from Dutch recodification experiences; the prerequisites to adopt these lessons in Vietnam and challenges that need to be overcome. It aims to propose feasible and persuasive discussions to aid the drafting committee to choose a suitable plan for re-codifying Vietnamese civil code.