Criminalization of drug trafficking in Vietnam: developments and challenges



Publication Details

T. Phuong T. Nguyen & G. L. Rose, 'Criminalization of drug trafficking in Vietnam: developments and challenges' (2016) 29 (2) Columbia Journal of Asian Law 146-177.


Since the adoption of an "open door" economic policy in 1986, drug trafficking in Vietnam has increased significantly. In 1997, Vietnam ratified the three UN drug control conventions and launched efforts to bring its national laws into line with them. As a newcomer to these international standards, Vietnam lacked experience in developing laws to combat drug trafficking. Fifteen years on, how well does Vietnamese legislation comply with the international requirements? How could compliance and, more broadly, the relevant legislation be improved? The first part of this paper draws a picture of drug trafficking in Vietnam since the "open door" economic policy was adopted. The second part analyses the government's legislative action over the past fifteen years to combat drug-related crime. The analysis reveals some inconsistencies with the UN standards and, moreover, some inherent problems in the recent formulation of the Vietnamese drug-related laws that require rectification through legislative clarification.

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