VIETNAM: Access to justice for children

This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.

As a ratified international treaty, the CRC has the force of law in Vietnam and its provisions takes precedence over conflicting provisions of national law. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether the Convention is being directly enforced in the national courts. Children aged between six and 18 must authorise their legal representative to bring cases in court on their behalf, however, in labour and property law related disputes, children aged between 16 and 18 may act on their own behalf. Children aged under six years old, however, cannot authorise a representative to bring a case on their behalf. There are serious obstacles to access to justice because, although the courts have jurisdiction to hear cases alleging a violation of any constitutional or other legal right, the judiciary is not independent and administrative court decisions are subject to nullification by the government.

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