Judiciary

The Vietnamese court system includes the Supreme People’s Court, the Superior People’s Court (first introduced by the new Law on Organization of People’s Court in 2014), the Provincial People’s Courts in cities and provinces, and the District People’s Courts.

The court system is based on the two-tier system which ensures that the rulings of one court can be appealed to a higher authority. Such higher authority may either uphold or reverse the ruling from the lower court. Most cases begin at the district or provincial court level with the possibility of appeal to the high courts. If a case has been heard initially at district court, it may in special cases even be brought for a third hearing before the Superior People’s Court.

All Courts (except for the Supreme People’s Court and District People’s Courts) are divided into six divisions: criminal, civil, administrative, economic, labour, and family & juvenile. Such divisions at the District People’s Court are not compulsory. Under the Civil Procedure Code, all disputes, whether civil, commercial or labour, are subject to the same set of procedural rules. A dispute may, depending on the type and the value of the dispute, either be heard at the district court or the provincial court at first instance. The recognition of foreign judgments and foreign arbitral awards falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial court.

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