Year

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts

Abstract

In this thesis I analyse and evaluate the treatment of children who come in contact with the judicial system in Vietnam with a focus on the implementation of the state party’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Vietnam ratified in 1990. I explore to what extent Vietnam has implemented its obligations and consider what it should do further to fully comply with international juvenile justice standards. These questions are addressed with respect to each aspect of the juvenile justice system: the prevention of juvenile delinquency, the treatment of juvenile offenders and the protection of child victims and witnesses of crime.

An interdisciplinary, mixed method approach has been employed, including analysis of documents, statistical analysis, case studies and contextual analysis. Vietnamese law and its actual implementation in juvenile justice are considered through the analysis of international and national legal normative documents, statistics, reports, academic studies and court cases. The thesis includes recommendations based on a careful consideration of Vietnam’s obligations under international law, particularly Vietnam’s commitment to its obligations under the CRC.

Research findings indicate that Vietnam has approached international juvenile justice standards in a number of aspects, including the age of criminal responsibility and the recognition of most juvenile offenders’ rights. However, there are significant shortcomings in the definition of the child, national policies on juvenile delinquency prevention, the rights of child victims and witnesses of crimes, and inadequacies in law enforcement. The thesis finally provides practical recommendations for law reform and mechanisms for effective legal implementation.

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