Legislative implementation by vietnam of its obligations under the united nations drug control conventions

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University of Wollongong Theses Collection University of Wollongong Theses Collection University of Wollongong Year  Legislative implementation by Vietnam of its obligations under the United Nations Drug Control Conventions Hoa Phuong Thi Nguyen University of Wollongong Nguyen, Hoa Phuong Thi, Legislative implementation by Vietnam of its obligations under the United Nations Drug Control Conventions, PhD thesis, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong, 2008. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/30 This paper is posted at Research Online. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/30 Faculty of Law Legislative Implementation by Vietnam of Its Obligations under the United Nations Drug Control Conventions Hoa Phuong Thi Nguyen This thesis is presented as full requirements for the award of a PhD at the University of Wollongong March 2008 CERTIFICATION I, Hoa Phuong Thi Nguyen, declare that this thesis, submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy, in the Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong, is wholly my own work unless otherwise referenced or acknowledged. The document has not been submitted for qualifications at any other academic institution. Hoa Phuong Thi Nguyen 31 July 2007 i ABSTRACT Lying across many important traffic routes in South-East Asia and located within the proximity of the Golden Triangle, Vietnam has become an international transit point for illicit drugs. The availability of drugs smuggled from its neighbouring countries has brought about an alarming increase in drug abuse in the whole country, and especially among the youth. Having a tropical monsoon climate, it has also traditionally faced the problems of opium poppy cultivation and opium smoking among the ethnic populations in its mountainous and upland areas. In 1997, with the ratification of the three UN Drug Control Conventions,1 Vietnam officially stepped into the international battle against illicit drugs. Becoming a Party to the Conventions, it came under obligations to bring domestic legislation into line with international standards. This Thesis examines, in-depth, the legal framework for drug control in Vietnam adopted in the years since it became a Party to the UN Drug Control Conventions. The Thesis first defines the obligations of Parties under these Conventions and then compares and analyzes strengths and weaknesses of Vietnamese legislation implementing the obligations. The contributions made by this Thesis to the field of drug control research are twofold. First, it contributes a new understanding of Vietnamese successes and shortcomings in drug control laws that implement international obligations and identifies opportunities for improvement of the national drug control legal framework. Secondly, the success of international drug control mechanisms depends heavily on implementation by the individual contracting Parties. Yet state implementation in accordance with national legislation and institution capabilities varies considerably. This case study of Vietnamese implementation is useful for furthering understanding of the transformation of drug control international standards into national law, especially in developing countries having similar legal, social and economic features, such as are found in Indo-China. 1 I.e. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, opened for signature 30 March 1961 (entered into force 13 December 1964); Convention on Psychotropic Substances, opened for signature 21 February 1971 (entered into force 16 August 1976) and Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, opened for signature 20 December 1988 (entered into force 11 November 1990). ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Leaving behind a beloved family to travel abroad for fulltime PhD research is truly a very hard undertaking. I could not have departed on this journey if my husband had not given me strong encouragement, originating from his profound understanding of my desire for further study. Therefore, I am deeply in debt to his love. During the completion of necessary procedures for this travel, I was greatly supported by a teacher whom I much respect, Mr. Xuan Te, and my kind-hearted managers, Mr. Quang De and Mrs. Hoang Hoa. Deeply in my heart, I would like them to know that without their support I could not have continued this further study. Doing research in Australia – a completely new academic environment – has not been easy, but everything seemed to be much simpler working with Professor Gregory Rose who is my principal supervisor. Since our first meeting, I have much admired him for his critical and logical views. His comments and clear guidelines have led me to stronger arguments on the subjects studied. From the bottom of my heart, I profoundly appreciate the supervision of Prof. Rose of my research project. I am also grateful to have been under the co-supervision of Associate Professor Doug McKinnon who is a director of the Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention. Although not focusing in detail upon each issue raised, his overall comments helpfully widened my views. I am especially grateful for his support in the form of arrangements for various social activities during the time I studied in Wollongong. In addition, I greatly appreciate the help of Mr. Peter Moore with editing my Thesis. As English is not my mother language, I unavoidably made a number of grammatical mistakes and, in certain cases, did not express my views as well as I might. The edition of Mr. Moore meaningfully helps me to have a well-written Thesis in English. Personally, I could not have spent my time fully on my research but for my dear sisters. While I was away from home, my older and younger sisters kindly looked after our father so that I was able to concentrate on the research. They have also insistently encouraged me to keep going with the work. Their selfless devotion to me is always in my heart. And finally, special thanks are given to some of my friends in Australia: Tracy Wood, Aladine Magareih, Ong Tom and Ba Francie. Their friendship has been truly meaningful to me personally. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT................................................................................................................. ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................iii TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................................ iv LIST OF FIGURES ..................................................................................................... x 1. 2 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 1 1. 1 Background .................................................................................................. 1 1. 2 Statement of the Problem ............................................................................. 2 1. 3 Research Questions ...................................................................................... 8 1. 4 Scope and Methodology............................................................................. 10 1. 5 Contributions of the Thesis ........................................................................ 13 1. 6 Synopsis of the Thesis................................................................................ 14 VIETNAMESE CONTEXT FOR DRUG CONTROL ..................................... 18 2. 1 General Data .............................................................................................. 19 2.1.1 Location and Territory ....................................................................... 19 2.1.2 Climate ............................................................................................... 22 2.1.3 Population .......................................................................................... 23 2. 2 Political System.......................................................................................... 27 2.2.1 Communist Party................................................................................ 27 2.2.2 Mass Organizations............................................................................ 29 2. 3 State System ............................................................................................... 30 2.3.1 National Assembly ............................................................................. 30 2.3.2 President............................................................................................. 31 2.3.3 Government........................................................................................ 32 2.3.4 Prime Minister.................................................................................... 33 2.3.5 People’s Council and People’s Committee ........................................ 34 2.3.6 People’s Courts .................................................................................. 35 2.3.7 People’s Procuracy............................................................................. 36 2. 4 Vietnamese Legal System .......................................................................... 36 2.4.1 Overview ............................................................................................ 36 2.4.2 The 1992 Constitution, amended in 2001 .......................................... 39 2.4.3 Sources of Law................................................................................... 39 iv 2. 5 Economic and Social Changes over the Country....................................... 41 2.5.1 Doi Moi Policy - A Turn in the Country’s Development .................. 42 2.5.2 Remaining Difficulties and Problems ................................................ 46 2. 6 3 Conclusion ................................................................................................. 47 DRUG PROBLEMS IN VIETNAM AND VIETNAM’S RATIFICATION OF THE UN DRUG CONTROL CONVENTIONS ....................................................... 49 3. 1 Drug Problems in Vietnam ........................................................................ 50 3.1.1 Historical Overview ........................................................................... 50 3.1.2 Drug Cultivation ................................................................................ 52 3.1.3 Drug Trafficking ................................................................................ 58 3.1.4 Drug Abuse ........................................................................................ 66 3. 2 4 Ratification of the Three United Nations Drug Control Conventions ....... 72 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ...................................................................... 79 4. 1 Controlled Substances under the UN Drug Control Conventions ............. 80 4.1.1 Defining the Controlled Substances: Enumerative Method............... 80 4.1.2 Narcotic Drugs under the 1961 Convention....................................... 83 4.1.3 Psychotropic Substances under the 1971 Convention ....................... 86 4.1.4 Substances Frequently Used in the Illicit Manufacture of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances under the 1988 Convention...................... 91 4. 2 Controlled Substances under Vietnamese Legislation............................... 95 4.2.1 Defining Controlled Substances: A Combination of Enumerative and Descriptive Methods .......................................................................................... 96 4.2.2 Definition and Schedules of Narcotic Substances ........................... 101 4.2.3 Definition and Schedule of Precursors............................................. 108 4. 3 5 Conclusion ............................................................................................... 110 CONTROLS ON LICIT DRUG ACTIVITIES ............................................... 113 5. 1 Restrictions on the Cultivation of Drug-Producing Plants....................... 115 5.1.1 Restrictions on the Cultivation of Drug-Producing Plants under the 1961 Convention .............................................................................................. 115 5.1.2 Prohibition on the Cultivation of Drug-Producing Plants under Vietnamese Legislation.................................................................................... 117 5. 2 Quantitative Restrictions in Licit Drug Activities ................................... 118 v 5.2.1 Quantitative Restrictions under the Drug Control Conventions ...... 118 5.2.2 Quantitative Restrictions in Licit Drug Activities under Vietnamese Legislation........................................................................................................ 123 5. 3 Control of International Trade in Drugs: Import and Export Authorizations 128 5.3.1 Control of International Trade in Drugs under the Drug Control Conventions ..................................................................................................... 128 5.3.2 Control of International Trade in Drugs under Vietnamese Legislation 131 5. 4 Licensing of Licit Drug Activities and Premises ..................................... 134 5.4.1 Licensing under the Drug Control Conventions .............................. 134 5.4.2 Licensing under Vietnamese Legislation ......................................... 137 5. 5 Control on Persons Involved in Licit Drug Activities ............................. 140 5.5.1 Control on Persons under the Drug Control Conventions ............... 140 5.5.2 Control on Persons Involved in Licit Drug Activities under Vietnamese Legislation.................................................................................... 142 5. 6 Medical Prescriptions............................................................................... 144 5.6.1 Medical Prescriptions under the Drug Control Conventions ........... 144 5.6.2 Medical Prescriptions under Vietnamese Legislation...................... 146 5. 7 Label Warning.......................................................................................... 147 5.7.1 Label Warning under the Drug Control Conventions ...................... 147 5.7.2 Label Warning under Vietnamese Legislation................................. 148 5. 8 Advertisement Limitation ........................................................................ 149 5.8.1 Advertisement Limitation under the Drug Control Conventions..... 149 5.8.2 Advertisement Limitation under Vietnamese Legislation ............... 150 5. 9 Record Keeping........................................................................................ 150 5.9.1 Record Keeping under the Drug Control Conventions .................... 150 5.9.2 Record Keeping under Vietnamese Legislation............................... 152 5. 10 6 Conclusion ........................................................................................... 154 CRIMINALIZATION OF DRUG-RELATED OFFENSES ........................... 161 6. 1 Drug-Related Offenses............................................................................. 162 6.1.1 Overview .......................................................................................... 162 vi 6.1.2 Supply-Related Offenses.................................................................. 165 6.1.3 Consumption-Related Offenses ....................................................... 183 6.1.4 Inchoate and Accessory Offenses .................................................... 189 6. 2 Penalties ................................................................................................... 193 6.2.1 Penalties under the UN Drug Control Conventions......................... 193 6.2.2 Penalties under Vietnamese Legislation .......................................... 199 6. 3 7 Conclusion ............................................................................................... 207 JURISDICTION AND EXTRADITION......................................................... 216 7. 1 Jurisdiction over Drug-Related Offenses ................................................. 217 7.1.1 Jurisdiction over Drug-Related Offenses under the UN Drug Control Conventions ..................................................................................................... 217 7.1.2 Jurisdiction over Drug-Related Offenses under Vietnamese Legislation........................................................................................................ 224 7. 2 Extradition of Drug-Related Offenders.................................................... 228 7.2.1 Extradition under the UN Drug Control Conventions ..................... 228 7.2.2 Extradition under Vietnamese Legislation....................................... 235 7. 3 8 Conclusion ............................................................................................... 242 LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION..................................................... 245 8. 1 General Obligations ................................................................................. 246 8.1.1 General Convention Requirements for Law Enforcement Cooperation 246 8.1.2 8. 2 General Commitments of Vietnam .................................................. 248 Mutual Legal Assistance .......................................................................... 249 8.2.1 Mutual Legal Assistance in Accordance with Article 7 of the 1988 Convention ....................................................................................................... 249 8.2.2 Confiscation ..................................................................................... 258 8.2.3 Transfer of Proceedings ................................................................... 268 8. 3 8.3.1 Controlled Delivery.......................................................................... 269 8.3.2 Prevention of the Use of Mail for Illicit Drug Traffic ..................... 273 8. 4 9 Cooperation in Specific Law Enforcement Measures.............................. 269 Conclusion ............................................................................................... 276 SPECIAL ADMINISTRATION FOR DRUG CONTROL............................. 278 vii 9. 1 Special Administrative Arrangements under the UN Drug Control Conventions ......................................................................................................... 279 9.1.1 Obligations of Parties under the 1961 Convention .......................... 279 9.1.2 Obligations of Parties under the 1971 Convention .......................... 283 9.1.3 Obligations of Parties under the 1988 Convention .......................... 284 9. 2 Administrative Arrangements for Drug Control in Vietnam ................... 287 9.2.1 National Authorities Engaged in Drug Control ............................... 287 9.2.2 Special Administration for Drug Control......................................... 303 9. 3 10 Conclusion ............................................................................................... 309 OBLIGATIONS TO FURNISH INFORMATION ..................................... 315 10. 1 Overview .............................................................................................. 316 10. 2 Estimates and Statistics on Quantities of Drugs for Medical and Scientific Purposes ............................................................................................... 324 10.2.1 Estimates and Statistics on Quantities under the UN Drug Control Conventions ..................................................................................................... 324 10.2.2 10. 3 Estimates and Statistics under Vietnamese Legislation ................... 330 Furnishing of Other Drug Control Information ................................... 333 10.3.1 Annual Report Questionnaire........................................................... 333 10.3.2 Responses by Vietnam to the ARQ and Its Legislation on Drug Statistics 334 10. 4 11 Conclusion ........................................................................................... 341 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................ 344 11. 1 Controlled Substances.......................................................................... 344 11. 2 Controls on Licit Drug Activities......................................................... 345 11. 3 Criminalization of Drug-Related Offenses .......................................... 349 11.3.1 Drug-Related Offenses..................................................................... 349 11.3.2 Penalties ........................................................................................... 352 11. 4 Jurisdiction and Extradition ................................................................. 353 11.4.1 Jurisdiction ....................................................................................... 353 11.4.2 Extradition........................................................................................ 354 11. 5 11.5.1 Law Enforcement Cooperation ............................................................ 355 Mutual Legal Assistance .................................................................. 355 viii 11.5.2 Confiscation ..................................................................................... 356 11.5.3 Transfer of Proceedings ................................................................... 357 11.5.4 Controlled Delivery.......................................................................... 358 11.5.5 Prevention of the Use of Mail for Illicit Drug Trafficking .............. 358 11. 6 Special Administration for Drug Control............................................. 359 11. 7 Submission of Drug Control Information ............................................ 362 11. 8 Epilogue ............................................................................................... 364 LIST OF PUBLICATIONS ..................................................................................... 366 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................... 367 ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2.1 Vietnam’s Location .................................................................................. 20 Figure 2.2 Vietnam’s Population Statistics (million persons) ................................... 23 Figure 2.3 Vietnam’s Population Forecast in Fifteen-Year Period 2005-2020 ......... 24 Figure 2.4 Gross Domestic Product and Gross Domestic Product per Capita from 1995 to 2005 (at present prices) ......................................................................... 43 Figure 3.1 Highest Opium Poppy Cultivation Areas in the Years 1985, 1990 and 1992.................................................................................................................... 54 Figure 3.2 Estimated Cultivation and Production of Opium Poppies in Vietnam (1993-2006)........................................................................................................ 57 Figure 3.3 Drug-Related Cases and Arrests in Vietnam (1995-2006) ....................... 59 Figure 3.5 Registered Drug Abusers in Vietnam (1995 - 2006) ................................ 67 Figure 4.1 Controlled Substances under the 1961 Convention.................................. 85 Figure 4.2 Controlled Substances under the 1971 Convention.................................. 90 Figure 4.3 Controlled Substances under the 1988 Convention.................................. 93 Figure 4.4 The List of Vietnamese Legislations Providing Definitions and Schedules of the Nationally Controlled Substances.......................................................... 100 Figure 4.5 Schedules of Narcotic Substances under Vietnamese Control ............... 104 Figure 4.6 Inconsistency between the Definition and Schedules of Narcotic Substances ........................................................................................................ 107 Figure 4.7 Substances under the Vietnamese National Control............................... 111 Figure 5.1 A Brief Summary of the National Controls of Licit Drug Activities ..... 156 Figure 6.1 Supply-Related Offenses under the 1988 Convention............................ 168 Figure 6.2 Drug-Related Crimes and Punishments under the Criminal Code of Vietnam 1999 ................................................................................................... 201 Figure 6.3 Penalties Applicable to Drug-Related Offenses in Relation to the Quantities of Drugs .......................................................................................... 204 Figure 6.4 Summary of Drug-Related Offenses under the UN Drug Control Conventions and Responses by the Criminal Code of Vietnam 1999 ............. 209 Figure 9.1 Organizational Structure of the National Committee for Prevention and Suppression of AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution ................................................. 304 x Figure 9.2 Coordination authority structure............................................................. 307 Figure 9.3 Overall Structure of Vietnam’s Drug Control Administration............... 311 Figure 10.1 A Summary of Information to Be Furnished under the UN Drug Control Conventions ..................................................................................................... 317 xi 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background 1.2 Statement of the Problem 1.3 Research Questions 1.4 Scope and Methodology 1.5 Contributions of the Thesis 1.6 Synopsis of the Thesis 1. 1 Background Vietnam lies on the eastern seaboard of the Indochina Peninsula, with a total landmass of 329,297 square kilometres and coastline of 3260 kilometres. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west and the South China Sea to the south. Mountains and hills make up 75% of its total landmass.1 Enjoying a humid and tropical monsoon climate, Vietnam has abundant rainfall with the average of 2000 millimetres.2 The tropical monsoonal climate provides a favourable natural environment for opium poppy growth at an altitude of over 600 metres above sea level.3 Therefore, Vietnam has long faced a history of opium cultivation among ethnic minorities in the uplands and mountainous areas. The origins of the contemporary drug problem in Vietnam are considered to be intermingled with its history of opium cultivation.4 Opium is thought to have arrived 1 See Tong Cuc Thong Ke, Nien Giam Thong Ke cua Nuoc Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Vietnam nam 2003 (2003)12 [trans: General Statistics Office, Statistical Yearbook of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 2003 (2003)]. 2 Ngoc Huy Nguyen and Van Tai Ta, The Le Code: Law in Traditional Vietnam: A Comparative SinoVietnamese Legal Study with Historical-Juridical Analysis and Annotations (1987), 2; Tu Lap Vu, Vietnam: Geographical Data (1979) 51-2 and Duc Ngai Truong and Thang Phan (eds), Viet Nam Huong Toi The Ky XXI (2000) 15 [trans: Duc Ngai Truong and Thang Phan (eds), Vietnam Towards the Twenty-First Century (2000)]. 3 Van Hoa Do, Xac Dinh Mo Hinh Co Cau Cay Trong Thich Hop Tren Dat Doc Vung Cao Mien Nui Phia Bac Gop Phan Bo Sung Cac Giai Phap cho Chuong Trinh Thay The Cay Thuoc Phien (D Phil thesis, Vien Khoa Hoc Ky Thuat Nong Nghiep Vietnam, 1996) 47 and 120 [trans: Van Hoa Do, Finding a Suitable Cultivation Structure for Northern Mountainous and Upland Areas as a Contribution to the Opium Poppy Alternatives Program (D Phil Thesis, Technical Agriculture Institution, 1996)]. 4 Ethnic Minorities, Drug Use & Harm in the Highlands of Northern Viet Nam - A Contextual Analysis of the Situation in Six Communes from Son La, Lai Chau, and Lao Cai, July 2003 (2003) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at 18 August 2004 1 in Vietnam via Laos in between the years 1600 and 1665.5 The ethnic populations use opium as an effective medicine against pains and illness, a stimulant in their folk festivals and as a substance to alleviate hunger.6 The tradition of opium poppy cultivation and opium smoking has led to a very high rate of abuse in the ethnic communes.7 1. 2 Statement of the Problem Located in close proximity to the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand) that is one of the major opium sources of the world, and being a neighbour of Cambodia which has become an important source of cannabis for global illicit markets,8 Vietnam has been reported as an important drug transit country.9 Its common border with Laos, which stretches 2067 kilometres with many small roads and tracks running through low hills, has been used as an important gateway for illicit drugs smuggled into the country.10 Heroin from the Golden Triangle and other synthetic and United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Excerpt from: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 2004, Vietnam United Department of State International Information Programs at 17 August 2004. 5 Phong Hoa Nguyen and Ngoc Hung Dang, Ma Tuy va nhung Van De ve Cong Tac Kiem Soat Ma Tuy (1994) 90 [trans: Phong Hoa Nguyen and Ngoc Hung Dang, Narcotics and Matters Concerning Narcotics Control (1994)]. 6 Thi Mai Nga Nguyen and Quoc Huynh Pham, Nhung Van De Co Ban trong Cong Tac Kiem Sat Dieu Tra va Kiem Sat Xet Xu cac Toi Pham ve Ma Tuy o Viet Nam (2003) 37 [trans: Thi Mai Nga Nguyen and Quoc Huynh Pham, Basic Issues on Supervision of Investigations and Trials for DrugRelated Crimes (2003)] and Hung Vuong Vu, 'Luc Luong Canh Sat voi Cong Tac Phong, Chong Ma Tuy o Viet Nam' (Paper presented at the Hoi Thao ve Phong Chong Ma Tuy cua Vietnam va Phap, Hanoi, Vietnam, 1998) 46 [trans: Hung Vuong Vu, 'Police Force in the Combat against Narcotic Substances in Vietnam' (Paper presented at the Conference on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression between Vietnam and France, Hanoi, Vietnam, June 1998)]. 7 See Van Du Nguyen, 'Mot So Van De ve Phong Chong Ma Tuy trong Vung Thuoc Nhiem Vu cua Bo Doi Bien Phong' (Paper presented at the Hoi Thao ve Phong Chong Ma Tuy giua Viet Nam va Phap, Hanoi, Vietnam, June 1998) 37 [trans: Van Du Nguyen, 'Some Issues on the Prevention and Suppression of Narcotics in Areas Supervised by Border Guards' (Paper presented at the Conference on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression between Vietnam and France, Hanoi, Vietnam, June 1998)]. 8 International Narcotics Control Board, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 1998 (1999) [para 315] at 18 August 2005. 9 See Richard Clutterbuck, Drugs, Crime and Corruption (1995) 86, Mandy Bentham, The Politics of Drug Control (1998) 40 and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes Vietnam, Vietnam: Country Profile, 2003 (2003) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [9] at 18 December 2004. 10 See, eg, United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crime Vietnam, above n 9, 24; United States Department of Justice, Drug Intelligence Brief - the Drug Situation in Vietnam, November 2001 United States Department of Justice at 13 November 2004 and Hoang Tran, 'Bo Doi Bien Phong Ngan Chan "Dong Chay" Ma Tuy qua Bien 2 drugs are also brought to Vietnam overland through different points along its weakly controlled borders with China and Cambodia11 and can be further shipped to America, Australia and other European countries.12 Drug trafficking has significantly increased in Vietnam since it applied an ‘Open Door’ policy, with a greater international and regional economic integration.13 The growing availability of drugs smuggled from its neighbours has brought about an alarming increase in drug abuse in the whole country, and especially among its youth. Drug abusers under thirty make up 70% of the total, and in some cases drug abusers are even below the age of ten.14 According to the 2006 statistics, Vietnam has 160,226 registered drug addicts.15 The proportion of young people using drugs in Gioi' (2004) 12 Ban Tin Phong Chong Ma Tuy 19, 19 [trans: Hoang Tran, 'Border Guards in the Combat against "Drug Flows" across National Borders' (2004) 12 Bulletin on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression 19]. 11 Quang Vinh Vu, 'Tinh Hinh Chung ve Cong Tac Kiem Soat Ma Tuy va Van De Phong Chong Ma Tuy o Viet Nam' (Paper presented at the Hoi Thao ve Phong Chong Ma Tuy cua Viet Nam va Phap, Hanoi, Vietnam, 1998) 3 [trans: Quang Vinh Vu, 'General Situation on Narcotics Control and the Issue of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression in Vietnam' (Paper presented at the Conference on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression between Vietnam and France, Hanoi, Vietnam, June 1998)]; Xuan Yem Nguyen, Luat Phong Chong Ma Tuy va Phong Chong Ma Tuy trong Nha Truong (2004) 781 [trans: Xuan Yem Nguyen, Law on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression and Narcotics Prevention in Education Institutions (2004)]; Van Luyen Tran, 'Dac Tinh Hinh Su cua Cac Toi Tang Tru, Van Chuyen, Mua Ban Trai Phep cac Chat Ma Tuy' (1998) 9 Toa An Nhan Dan 5, 8 [trans: Van Luyen Tran, 'Criminal Characteristics of the Offense of Illegal Stockpiling, Transporting and Trading of Narcotic Substances' (1998) 9 People's Court 5] and United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crime Vietnam, above n 9, 24-5. 12 See, e.g., International Narcotics Control Board, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2005 (2006) [para 473] at 20 March 2006 and International Narcotics Control Board, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2001 (2002) [para 391] at 18 August 2005. 13 The more detailed picture is provided in Section 3.1.3 of Chapter 3. See also Thi Mai Nga Nguyen and Quoc Huynh Pham, above n 6, 38 and Cong Son Nguyen, 'Tinh Hinh va Ket Qua Cong Tac Phong Chong Ma Tuy 6 Thang Dau Nam 2006 va Mot So Nhiem Vu Trong Tam trong Thoi Gian Toi' (2006) 8 Ban Tin Phong Chong Ma Tuy 2, 5-6 [trans: Cong Son Nguyen, 'The Situation and Results of the Work on Drug Prevention and Suppression in the First Six Months of 2006 and Main Tasks in the Coming Year' (2006) 8 Bulletin on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression 2]. 14 See Huu Lam Nguyen, 'Tinh Trang Nghien Ma Tuy va cac Bien Phap Cai Nghien Ma Tuy o Viet Nam' (Paper presented at the Hoi Thao ve Phong Chong Ma Tuy cua Viet Nam va Phap, Hanoi, Vietnam, 1998) 98 [trans: Huu Lam Nguyen, 'The Situation of Drug Abuse and Measures for Drug Abuse Treatment in Vietnam' (Paper presented at the Conference on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression between Vietnam and France, Hanoi, Vietnam, June 1998)]. 15 Co Quan Thuong Truc Phong Chong Ma Tuy Cua Uy Ban Quoc Gia Phong Chong AIDS, Phong Chong Ma Tuy va Mai Dam, 'Bao Cao Tinh Hinh va Ket Qua 5 Nam Thi Hanh Luat Phong, Chong Ma Tuy' (304/2006/BCA(VPU), 2006) 3 [trans: Standing Office for Drug Control of the National Committee for Prevention and Suppression of AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution, 'Report on the Five-Year Implementation of the Law on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression' (35/2006/BCA(VPU), 2006)]. 3 urban areas has increased significantly.16 Thus, drug abuse that was mainly a rural phenomenon relating to opium smoking habits has now spread to urban areas and poses serious risks to Vietnam’s younger generation. Drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse have adverse affects on the country. These include corruption, damage to social values, threats to the happiness of families and youth degeneracy.17 The Government of Vietnam is deeply aware of these impacts and of the need for international cooperative action to combat illicit drugs.18 In 1997, it ratified and became a Party to the three United Nations Drug Control Conventions (DCCs) that are currently in force, namely the namely the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (amended by the 1972 Protocol), opened for signature 30 March 1961, entered into force 13 December 1964 (hereinafter cited as ‘1961 Convention’); Convention on Psychotropic Substances, opened for signature 21 February 1971, entered into force 16 August 1976 (hereinafter cited as ‘1971 Convention’), and Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, opened for signature 20 December 1988, entered into force 11 November 1990 (hereinafter cited as ‘1988 Convention’). Stepping into the international frontline against illicit drugs, Vietnam has benefited from various types of support, such as training, technical assistance and other law enforcement cooperation. However, on becoming a Party to the Conventions, it also undertook numerous international obligations. The 1981 and 1982 DCC Working Groups reported that developing countries are sometimes unable to meet their treaty obligations because they have insufficient 16 United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crime Vietnam, above n 9, 28. See the preamble of the Nghi quyet 06/CP ve tang cuong chi dao cong tac phong, chong va kiem soat ma tuy 1993 (Chinh Phu) [trans: Directive 06/BCT-TW on Enhancing Directions on Drug Prevention and Suppression 1996 (Political Bureau, Communist Party)] and Xuan Yem Nguyen and Quang Vinh Vu, Nhung Van De Co Ban ve Cong Tac Phong Chong Ma Tuy (2002) 22 and 26-7 [trans: Xuan Yem Nguyen and Quang Vinh Vu, Basic Issues on the Prevention of Drug-Related Crimes (2002)]. 18 In the year 1999, the Prime Minister Phan Van Khai elevated counter-narcotics to Vietnam’s second highest domestic priority, after poverty reduction. See Minh Huong Le, 'Ket Qua Thuc Hien Chuong Trinh Hanh Dong Phong Chong Ma Tuy Giai Doan 1998 - 2000 va Phuong Huong Trien Khai Chuong Trinh Hanh Dong Phong Chong Ma Tuy Giai Doan 2001 - 2005' (2001) 4 Ban Tin Phong Chong Ma Tuy 6, 6 [trans: Minh Huong Le, 'Results of the Action Plans on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression in the Three-Year Period from 1998 to 2000, and Orientation on the Deployment of the Action Plan in the Next Five-Year Period from 2001 to 2005' (2001) 4 Bulletin on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression 6]. 17 4 financial resources and few trained personnel.19 The international drug control system is apparently predicated on State cooperation and its effectiveness depends greatly upon the enactment and enforcement of corresponding national legislation. Thus, the International Narcotic Control Board stated in its report: It is particularly important for national drug control legislation to be continuously reviewed and evaluated in a systematic manner in order to determine whether the provisions of the international drug control treaties are being implemented by Government.20 After suffering a long war and since gaining reunification in 1975, Vietnam has in recent decades rebuilt its legal system. Like other developing countries, it continues to confront shortages in financial and human resources in implementing its national drug control regime.21 In addition, being a new-comer to the DCCs, it lacks experience with DCC provisions. Against such circumstances, an investigation of how well Vietnamese legislation complies with DCC provisions and how Vietnam can improve its compliance is important. These questions, however, have not been previously addressed. There exists a gap in domestic literature studying national drug control legislation, as none of the Vietnamese literature in this field has explored the compliance of national legislation with the DCC standards, and a gap exits also in the international literature. Existing Literature on Vietnamese Drug Control Regime Many Vietnamese scholars have made efforts to study different issues of national drug control. For example, Professor Xuan Yem Nguyen, a leading researcher in this field, has examined the trends in drug trafficking and abuse in the country over recent times and has analyzed successes as well as shortcomings in the operation of different law enforcement authorities involved in combating illicit drugs. He has also 19 See International Working Group on the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Report of the International Working Group on the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 - September 20 - 24, 1982 (1983), 10 and International Working Group on the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, Report of the "International Working Group on the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971" September 8 -12, 1980 (1981), 16. 20 International Narcotics Control Board, Effectiveness of the International Drug Control Treaties: Supplement to the Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 1994 (1995), 21. 21 See, eg, National Committee, above n 15, 13 and Standing Office for Drug Control, above n 15, 3. 5 analyzed certain gaps in national drug control in terms of legislative and law enforcement actions. His related publications include ‘Organized Crimes, the Mafia and Globalization of Crimes’ (2003), ‘Prostitution, Narcotics and Gambling: Crimes at the Present Time’ (2003), ‘Basic Issues on the Prevention of Drug-Related Crimes’ (2002),22 and ‘Narcotics in Vietnam at the Present Time: The Current State, Reasons and Solutions’ (2002). As a criminologist, in the books entitled ‘Modern Criminology and Crime Prevention’ (2001) and ‘Law on Narcotics Prevention and Suppression and Narcotics Prevention in Education Institutions’ (2004), he has focused on the characteristics of organized drug-related crimes, and on drug prevention in general and, especially, in public education units. Many other scholars, for instance Minh Duc Nguyen, Van Luyen Tran, Van Hien Nguyen, Minh Tuyen Pham and Phong Hoa Nguyen, have studied in depth the physical elements (actus reus) and mental elements (mens rea) of drug-related offenses under Vietnamese criminal law. They have pointed out the existing shortcomings in the law and provided several solutions. Publications of Minh Duc Nguyen in this field are ‘Differentiating between Administrative Violations and Drug-Related Crimes’ (2003), ‘Some Recommendations for Guiding the Application of the Provisions of Several Articles on Drug-Related Crimes under the Criminal Code 1999’ (2000) and ‘The Need for a New Joint Circular on the Application of Several Articles in Chapter “Drug-Related Crimes”’ (2000). Particularly, in his PhD research on ‘Improving Criminal Legal Framework Dealing with Drug-Related Crimes’ (2003), Minh Duc Nguyen has analyzed national legislation in relation to drug-related crimes both before and after Vietnam gained its reunification. Van Luyen Tran has also specialized in drug-related crimes in the book entitled ‘Criminal Liability for Drug-Related Crimes’ (1998) and a paper on ‘Criminal Characteristics of the Offense of Illegal Stockpiling, Transporting and Trading of Narcotic Substances’ (1998). Hispaper entitled ‘The Issue of Specifying the Quantity of Narcotic Substances Involved in Drug-Related Crimes under the Law Amending Some Articles of the Criminal Code 1985’ (1998) analyzed shortcomings of the Criminal Code of Vietnam 1985 in defining the quantities of narcotics proportional to 22 Quang Vinh Vu is a co-author of this paper. 6
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