Procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence in Vietnam

Procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence in Vietnam
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What are the procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence in Vietnam? - Quynh Anh (Hau Giang)

Procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence in Vietnam

Procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence in Vietnam (Internet image)

Regarding this issue, LawNet would like to answer as follows:

1. Procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence in Vietnam

Procedures for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence according to Article 38 of the Law on execution of criminal judgments 2019 are as follows:

- Competent agencies specified at Points a and b, Clause 1, Article 31 of the Law on execution of criminal judgments 2019 may request reduction of the duration of serving prison sentences.

- Agencies competent to request reduction of the duration of serving prison sentences shall compile dossiers and send them to provincial-level People's Courts and military courts of military zones in which the inmates concerned are serving their sentences for consideration and decision, and a dossier to the same-level procuracies. A request dossier comprises:

+ A copy of the judgment: for consideration of reduction of the sentence from the second time on, a copy of the judgment execution decision is required instead;

+ A written request of the competent agency for the reduction;

+ Quarterly, biannual and annual assessment grades of the serving of the prison sentence; commendation decision(s) or certificate(s) of the inmate's merits issued by competent agency(ies);

+ The conclusion of a provincial- or military zone- or higher-level hospital or medical examination council on the illness, for inmates suffering a fatal disease or a document showing that inmate is a decrepit old person;

+ A copy of the decision to reduce the duration of serving the prison sentence, for inmates who have been granted a reduction;

+ Proof of compensation for civil obligations paid by the person whose duration of serving prison sentence is requested for reduction.

- Within 15 days after receiving a request dossier for reduction of the duration of serving the prison sentence, the chief judge of people's court of province or the chief judge of military court of the military zone in which the inmate is serving his/her sentence shall establish a council and hold a meeting to consider the request.

The council is composed of 3 judges; the meeting must be attended by the procurator of the same-level procuracy. In case a dossier needs to be supplemented, the time limit for holding a meeting shall be counted from the date of receiving the supplemented dossier.

- Within 3 working days after issuing a decision to reduce the duration of serving the prison sentence, the court shall send this decision to the sentenced person concerned, the requesting agency, the same-level procuracy, the immediate superior procuracy, the court which has issued the judgment execution decision and the provincial-level Justice Department of the place in which such court is based, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a case where the sentenced person concerned is a foreigner.

- The consideration for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentences shall be carried out 3 times a year. A sentenced person may only be considered for reduction of the duration of serving prison sentence once a year.

After the sentenced person is granted the reduction of duration of serving the prison sentence, if there are special grounds showing that he/she deserves greater leniency, such as he/she has made merits, is a decrepit old person or has suffered a fatal disease. He/she may be considered for further reduction of duration of serving prison sentence but not exceeding twice a year.

2. Procedures for exemption from the serving of prison sentences in Vietnam

Procedures for exemption from the serving of prison sentences in Vietnam according to Article 39 of the Law on execution of criminal judgments 2019 are as follows:

- The people’s procuracy of province or military procuracy of military zone where the person serving a prison sentence resides or works shall compile a dossier to request the provincial-level people's court or the military court of the military zone to consider exempting such person from serving his/her prison sentence. A request dossier comprises:

+ A copy of the legally effective court judgment;

+ The written request of the competent chief procurator;

+ The inmate's petition for exemption from serving the prison sentence;

+ The inmate's statement on the merit or great merit he/she has made, certified by a competent agency, for inmates who have recorded merits or great merits, or the conclusion of a provincial-or military zone- or higher-level hospital or medical examination council on the illness of the inmate, for inmates suffering a fatal disease; the local government’s certification of the inmate’s good observance of law or severely disadvantaged family, for inmates who has observed the law well and has a severely disadvantaged family.

- Within 15 days after receiving a dossier, the chief judge shall establish a council and hold a meeting to consider the request. The council is composed of 3 judges; the meeting must be attended by the procurator of the same-level procuracy. In case a dossier needs to be supplemented, the time limit for holding a meeting shall be counted from the date of receiving the supplemented dossier.

- Within 3 working days after issuing a decision to exempt the duration of serving the prison sentence, the court shall send this decision to the sentenced person concerned, the requesting agency, the immediate superior procuracy, the same-level criminal judgment execution agency, the court which has issued the judgment execution decision and the People’s Committee of commune where the sentenced person concerned resides, the military assigned to manage such person or Department of Justice of province where the court which issued the decision is based, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a case where the sentenced person concerned is a foreigner.

- Immediately after receiving the exemption decision, the prison, detention center or criminal judgment execution agency of the district-level police office shall carry out procedures to set free such person and report the result to the superior criminal judgment execution management agency or criminal judgment execution agency.

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