DANIDA sponsored a project aimed at legal reform. The project included training more than eighty government drafters who worked on a variety of topics including Water, Coastal Management, Environment, Public Construction, State Budget, Criminal Procedures, Bankruptcy, Law on Laws, Traffic Accident Reduction, Telecommunications, and Farmers Credit. As part of this project, DANIDA funded the translation of the Manual for Drafters into Vietnamese.
Three years later, the Vietnamese government sent a high-level delegation of senior officials from the Government Office (the equivalent of Cabinet), the Ministry of Justice, and the Parliamentary staff for a two-week session to assess the Residence Program as a potential source of legislative drafting training. After reviewing ICLAD’s legislative problem-solving theory, methodology and techniques, as well as the four-month Residence Program, they decided to enroll three middle-level officials from each of those Vietnamese institutions. There, together with the assistance of Giao Hoang, a Vietnamese Fulbright fellow and University of Hanoi/Vietnam National University Professor, who had previously participated as a Visiting Scholar in the Residence Program, the three completed the Program. Giao served as interpreter and, in the process, both strengthened his own understanding of how best to translate the theory, methodology and techniques for use in Vietnam’s unique circumstances and, in essence, re-taught the material presented to the other Residence Program participants.
On their return, Giao and his colleagues set up an agency known as The Center for Legal Research and Services (LERES) devoted to strengthening the capacity of Vietnam's drafters to use law as a mechanism for social change. (Both Giao Hoang, now the Director of LERES, and Pham Tuan Khai, the Deputy Director of Vietnam's Government Office, serve as members of ICLAD’s Advisory Board).
Vietnam faced a crucial point in its road to economic development and modernization. Without adequate laws to implement the government’s intentions of reform and doi moi, the country would not continue its road of progress and stabilization. According to internal and external observations, there were two sets of evident skills needed within the various ministries and bodies that draft legislation, including the Office of the National Assembly, the Office of the Government, the Ministry of Justice, and the line ministries: policy formulation skills and technical legislative drafting skills—both of which require legal research skills.
As a result, Vietnam's Office of Government and LERES invited four ICLAD Certified Trainers to facilitate training for the newly formed Legislative Drafting Committee of the Office of Government, drafters from the Ministry of Justice, and several university faculty members involved in drafting advising for the government.
The ICLAD Certified Trainers partnered with Giao Hoang to conduct a learning program for twenty government drafters and university faculty members in Vietnam. One trainer worked with a group to review construction contracting procedures, another worked with Giao Hoang to facilitate a group addressing judicial accountability, and a third worked with a group to identify new law-making procedures and draft a Law on Laws that would enhance the probable effectiveness of legislative proposals. The final trainer worked with Giao Hoang, and conducted discussions with international donors, to develop proposals for future collaborations between ICLAD and LERES.
It was clear that the government needed a local training center to facilitate ongoing trainings in the future. In response to this perceived need, LERES and ICLAD decided to devise a collaborative project to provide legislative drafting training within the various bodies of government to build upon the core skills already developed.
LERES trains drafters in both central and local government, produces country-specific training materials, provides research assistance, and drafts bills aimed at transforming the Vietnamese economy according to local needs.
Construction Contracting Procedures
Disposal of Household and Municipal Waste
Law on Laws (Enhancing Effectiveness of Legislative Proposals)