The Vietnam Bar Federation has just issued a written recommendation that lawyers should be in the group of subjects performing essential services of society in the fourth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in Vietnam.
On September 9, the President of the Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) issued Document No. 270/LDLSVN to the Prime Minister, Provincial People’s Committees, and Central cities on the proposal to put Lawyers in the group of subjects to perform essential services during the Covid-19 crisis in Vietnam.
To strictly implement Directive 16/CT-TTG dated March 31, 2020, of the Prime Minister on urgent measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic and the dual goals of fighting the epidemic while ensuring economic development and maintaining essential state management and business activities, on April 3, 2020, the Government Office issued Official Letter No. 2601/VPCP-KGVX guiding the implementation of Directive No. 16/CT-TTG of the Prime Minister.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Justice issued Official Letter No. 1221/BTP-PLHSHC dated April 3, 2020, requesting Provincial People’s Committees, and Central cities to direct notarial practice organizations and lawyers to continue operating.
Section 2 of Official Letter No. 2601/VPCP-KGVX guiding the implementation of Directive No. 16/CT-TTG of the Prime Minister stipulates: “Service business establishments directly related to banking and supporting businesses such as notary, lawyer, registry, registration of secured transactions, etc. may continue to operate. The heads of the above-mentioned establishments are responsible for ensuring absolute safety and fully implementing anti-epidemic measures.”
Are Lawyers needed during the pandemic?
Currently, the number of practicing lawyers providing legal services to people, the business community, and society is more than 16,000 people who are active in the field of litigation and legal advice.
In the current situation, procedure-conducting agencies at all levels still carry out prosecution, and adjudication activities in accordance with the law to ensure security, safety, and social order. Accordingly, the above agencies still need to continue operating to guarantee that the society post-Covid doesn’t restart from the beginning, starting from the ‘stone age.’
There are many aspects of society that need the participation of lawyers in many different localities. However, the authorities in some provinces and cities don’t include Lawyers in the group of subjects to perform essential services during the Covid-19 crisis in Vietnam.
Accordingly, they don’t have clearance to travel on the road and can not participate in consulting service activities or participate in legal proceedings.
Study shows that, even in the current situation of prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic, people and society still need, and need even more urgently, the legal support from lawyers and law firms to ensure their legitimate rights and interests are not violated, especially when there are disputes over the issues of employees being forced to quit, employers being forced to fire employees, etc. happened nearly every day.
These issues needs need to be addressed and resolved promptly at the same time with the prevention of Covid-19 in each locality and in the entire country of Vietnam.
Proposal to allow Lawyers to continue operating in the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam
Accordingly, the Vietnam Bar Federation proposes that the Prime Minister, Provincial People’s Committees, and Central cities continue to identify activities of providing legal services, participating in legal proceedings, consulting, and providing legal aid of law-practicing organizations and lawyers for social subjects is one of the essential services in the context of COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, in line with the situation of implementing social distancing in each locality.
At the same time, the Federation also recommends that lawyers and employees in law-practicing organizations be included in the group that is allowed to use travel papers approved by the law-practicing organizations to be allowed to move on the road, pass through the epidemic control point.