International Workshop “State Governance in Some Countries and Implications for Vietnam”

On May 9th 2019, at the Pan Pacific hotel, Hanoi, the Institute of State and Law collaborated with the Rule of Law Programme Asia, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) to organize the international workshop “State governance in some countries and implications for Vietnam”.

The workshop attracted the attention of over 50 participants, researchers both domestic and international.


Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences


In his opening speech, Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, stated that the elements of a good governance should comprise of: accountability, people’s participation, predictability of the law and policy, transparency, the rule of law, effectiveness, efficiency, social consensus, equality, etc. However, it was no simple task to implement these principles. The topic of the workshop not only reflected the topical issues on state governance, but also met the pressing need for promotion of innovation in the near future in Vietnam. He wished both domestic and international researchers, managers, and practitioners to exchange ideas, share experiences, and propose ideas and solutions to construct a better state governance system in Vietnam.


Following up the opening speech was Mrs. Gisela Elsner, Director of the Rule of Law Programme. She believed that, currently, there are various state governance issues concerned many countries, which are: components for decision-making and implementation of decision of the State, accountability, efficiency, equality, etc. This workshop was a chance for us to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of such issues. She hoped the workshop would be useful to all participants.


Mrs. Gisela Elsner, Director of the Rule of Law Programme


The first session of the workshop was entitled “Factors affecting state governance”, chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh and Mrs. Gisela Elsner. The first presentation was made by Assoc. Prof. Dr Eugene Tan Kheng Boon (School of Law, Singapore Management University) on “Transparency in the formulation and implementation of policies and laws: Singapore’s practices and experience”. The author claimed that transparency is an important element in the discussion process for the Government to explain policies and bills, their necessity, and how to implement them. Transparency is a criterion required before, during and after a polic or bill is passed. The people can participate in the explanatory sessions of the Government organized by the Parliament on the implementation of policies and laws. In addition to the Parliament, there are other platforms for dialogue.


Discussing transparency, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh believed that a sufficiently adequate and strong legal framework is needed for transparent management. The law should identify the issues in need of, and objects and scope of transparency. A mechanism to ensure transparency is also needed. Anti-corruption campaign should continue to be implemented as well.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh (middle) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Nhu Phat (left)


The workshop continued with the presentation on “Complying with the rule of law in state governance” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Nhu Phat (the Institute of State and Law). Modern governance has raised many demands, including participation, transparency, accountability, efficiency and particularly the rule of law. However, according to the demand of modern governance, the rule of law also appeared in non-state sector where the non-state actors acted proactively, autonomously or participated as well as cooperated with public authorities in the process of state governance. Modern governance posed the issue that changed the value of the traditional rule of law, making it softer, more flexible, and has the concepts of soft law or pluralism recently surfaced.


In this session, the workshop received two other presentations: “Accountability of state agencies, social organizations and businesses: South Korea’s practices and experience” by Mr. Ik Hyeon Rhee (President of the Korea Legislation Research Institute) and “Promoting responsibility, solidarity and social consensus in the development process in China” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phung Thi Hue (the Institute of Chinese Studies).


The second session entitled “Requirements for State Governance” was chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Nhu Phat and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Thu. The session started with Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kluckert (Head of Public Law Faculty, Wuppertal University, Germany) and his presentation on “People’s participation in the management of state and society: Germany’s practices and experience”. He introduced the characteristics of direct democracy in Germany; explained the role of political parties; discussed the principle of transparency and the role of lay judges.


Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kluckert (right)


Responding to the questions on object of referendum and criteria for selection of lay judges, Prof. Dr. Kluckert noted that there are two non-referendum issues in Germany, which are salary payment for state officials and state budget. On lay judges, anyone can become one and this is a random selection conducted by a computer based on the list of citizens, who live in certain area and have registered for lay judge.


Other presentations in this session include:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency in the public sector from the practices of Ho Chi Minh city – LL.M. Trinh Thi Kim Phuong (Office of the People’s Council, Ho Chi Minh City);
  • Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of state governance in the world and applicability in Vietnam -  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Cong Giao (Law Faculty, Vietnam National University);
  • Good governance in the context of the Industry 4.0 – LL.M. Nguyen Thu Dung (the Institute of State and Law).


The workshop also received valuable experience, reflections of researchers on other issues such as: The operation of lay judges; overlapping elements in some indexes; state governance in the context of Industry 4.0 in Germany…


To conclude the workshop, Mrs. Gisela Elsner commented that the workshop took place with a great intensity of speeches and opinions, exchanges and discussions on a broad and difficult topic. For limited time, the researchers had done their best to share in the presentation and answered questions thoroughly. She thanked the Institute of State and Law, the speakers, two interpreters and made promise for future cooperation.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh also expressed his appreciation for the wonderful cooperation between the Institute of State and Law and the Rule of Law Program of KAS. He also thanked the international guests and researchers who participated enthusiastically and contributed to the success of the workshop.