Cablegate: Ambassador, Ca a/S Harty Discuss Opportunities For
UNCLAS HANOI 002878
STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND CA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KJUS VM
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR, CA A/S HARTY DISCUSS OPPORTUNITIES FOR
COOPERATION WITH MINISTER OF JUSTICE
1. (SBU) Summary: During an October 20 meeting, Minister of
Justice (MOJ) Uong Chu Luu identified for the Ambassador and
Consular Affairs A/S Harty a number of areas where he
thought the Vietnamese legal system needs reform, most
notably in commercial law. Minister Luu also spoke very
highly of his September study trip to the United States.
The Ambassador proposed assistance to Vietnam's judicial
system through a "next generation" of the STAR project and
suggested a collaborative seminar on the training of
lawyers. End Summary
2. (SBU) During an October 20 meeting with Ambassador and
visiting Consular Affairs Assistant Secretary Maura Harty,
Minister of Justice Uong Chu Luu began by praising the
experiences of a delegation of top MOJ officials he led to
the United States in September. Of particular interest were
the measures taken in America to ensure the independence of
judicial agencies, the role of bar associations in assisting
the members to work effectively with court officials and how
judges and public prosecutors in the United States identify
their responsibilities in protecting the public interest.
Luu added that he had been "very honored" to be able to
discuss areas of cooperation with Attorney General Ashcroft
during the trip.
3. (SBU) Minister Luu suggested a number of possible areas
of bilateral cooperation to advance further Vietnamese legal
reform. Since the signing of the Bilateral Trade Agreement,
the MOJ had strengthened cooperation with the USG, and U.S.
assistance in helping Vietnam to develop a "comprehensive
and stable legal regime" would lead to enhanced commercial
ties. The MOJ is now engaged in developing a legal reform
strategy through 2010, and much of this will be focused on
improving the court system, including increasing capacity
for judicial investigation and developing the skills of
prosecutors. As part of this, a recent Support for Trade
Acceleration (STAR) project program to train lecturers at
the Hanoi University of Law in commercial law -- something
that Vietnam particularly "lacks" -- is significant. "We
sometimes have suffered at the hands of more developed
nations" as a result of a lack of training in commercial
law, he said, citing foreign anti-dumping suits as an
4. (SBU) The Ambassador said that the USG will focus on
helping the MOJ in these areas of reform. The "bedrock" of
U.S. - Vietnam relations is trade and commercial ties, but
these need a strong and transparent legal system to
flourish. The USG is ready to offer similar assistance in
criminal justice reform. Additionally, the USG now has to
think about the "next generation" of the STAR project, and
the Ambassador asked for MOJ suggestions to plan this.
Developing the skills of Vietnam's lawyers and prosecutors
is an area of particularly pressing need, the Ambassador
noted, and the Embassy, the MOJ and the American Bar
Association could possible collaborate on a seminar to
present American experiences in this area to Vietnam.
Minister Luu said he would welcome such a seminar.
5. (U) A/S Harty and the Ambassador also raised the issues
of adoptions and Consular notification of the detention of
American citizens (reported septel).