Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hoa Binh, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Dr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman and President of the Vietnam International Arbitration Center co-moderated the meeting.
Prof., Dr. Nguyen Hoa Binh – Politburo member, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, co-moderated the meeting with Dr. Vu Tien Loc, Deputy cum Member of Economic Committee of 15th Vietnam National Assembly, Chairman and President of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC).
The meeting also had the presence of Dr. Nguyen Tri Tue, Member of the Elite Party Committee, Permanent Deputy Chief Justice of the SPC; Mr. Nguyen Van Tien, Member of the Elite Party Committee, Deputy Chief Justice of the SPC, Members of the Council of Judges and other leaders of divisions of the SPC. On behalf of the VIAC, there are the presence of Mr. Vu Anh Duong – Permanent Vice President cum General Secretary of VIAC; Prof., Dr. Do Van Dai – Vice Chairman of the VIAC Science Council; Listed Arbitrators of VIAC including Mr. Truong Trong Nghia – Deputy of 15th Vietnam National Assembly, Partner at YKVN law firm; Dr. Phan Chi Hieu – President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, former Deputy Minister of Ministry of Justice; Dr. Le Xuan Than – Deputy of 15th Vietnam National Assembly, Director of VIAC Branch in Khanh Hoa; Ms. Nguyen Thi Mai, former Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Judicial Affairs Support, and other representatives from VIAC.
The overview of the meeting
In his speech during the meeting, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman and President of the VIAC, emphasized the importance of the Court's judicial supervision and assistance in arbitration. Commercial arbitration, which has been widely acknowledged in Vietnam and numerous other countries globally as an effective method of resolving commercial disputes, is favoured by enterprises, traders, and investors due to its advantages. According to the 2021 International Arbitration Survey conducted by Queen Mary University (UK), 92% of respondents chose international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution methods (ADRs) as their preferred dispute settlement method for cross-border disputes. Moreover, the International Dispute Resolution Survey in 2020 and 2022 conducted by the Singapore International Dispute Settlement Institute (SIDRA) also recorded that an average of 88% of enterprises chose arbitration as their preferred method to use when disputes occur. In addition, the Provincial Competitiveness Index Report 2017 conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) also recorded that 92% of FDI enterprises participating in the survey chose out-of-court methods to resolve disputes in commercial business operations. In Vietnam, commercial arbitration is currently classified as judicial affair support, which shares tasks with the judicial authority.
Thus, arbitration development is one of the critical objectives in the ongoing reform of Vietnam's legislation and judicial systems. The Vietnamese Communist Party and Government have adopted many guidelines and policies to encourage dispute settlement by arbitration. Specifically, the Political Bureau has issued 03 Resolutions guiding this issue, notably Resolution No. 49-NQ/TW dated 02/06/2005 on the Strategy for Judicial Reform to 2020, which stated the requirement "to encourage dispute settlement through negotiation, mediation, arbitration".
The Court’s role of judicial assistance and supervision over arbitration proceedings is set forth in the Law on Commercial Arbitration 2010. In line with the guidance of the SPC, People’s Courts at all levels have actively assisted in arbitration activities, adhering to the policies outlined in the Resolution No. 01/2014/NQ-HDTP issued by the Justice Council of the SPC, which provided guidelines for some provisions of the Law on commercial arbitration. These efforts highlight the Court system’s commitment to facilitating and promoting the use of arbitration as a means of resolving disputes in Vietnam.
Following the issuance of Resolution No. 01/2014/NQ-HĐTP, the Courts have diligently fulfilled their role in assisting and supervising arbitration proceedings; as a result, promoting the development and improving the operational efficiency of arbitration, thus strengthening the judiciary, ensuring the enforcement of contracts, improving the business environment, and ultimately enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnam's economy. VIAC, as the most long-standing and dynamic arbitral institution in Vietnam, has experienced critical growth in recent years, from handling only a few dozen cases annually in the past, it now settles nearly 300 cases per year. It has also recorded around 60% of these cases involve foreign parties and/or are related to the FDI sector. Despite its achievements, there are still certain shortcomings that exist within the field of arbitration in Vietnam.
To clarify the issues, the Listed Arbitrators of VIAC presented their analysis of the status quo of the Court's supervision and assistance for arbitration, such as accomplishments and insufficiency.
The Listed Arbitrators of VIAC delivered their speech at the meeting
Dr. Vu Tien Loc – Chairman and President of VIAC, along with some of VIAC Listed Arbitrators presented proposal and recommendation to Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh and the Justice Council of the SPC to review and assess the judicial supervision and assistance in arbitration by the Courts. This aims to promote good practices, advocate for arbitration activities, and address existing issues and inconsistencies in court decisions concerning arbitration activities. Accordingly, the SPC was urged to focus on (i) developing case laws derived from dispute cases that were resolved through arbitration; (ii) supplementing the content regarding to the Courts’ role to arbitration in the annual report of the Chief Justice of the SPC to the National Assembly; (iii) conducting regular working sessions with VIAC to facilitate knowledge-sharing and drawing from common experiences in arbitration assistance and supervision; (iv) issuing resolutions or guidelines to assist judges in uniformly and effectively considering arbitration-related requests; and (v) enhancing its supervision of decisions addressing arbitration-related matter issued by authorized courts.
Furthermore, VIAC also put forward a proposal for the active involvement of the SPC in the amendments process of the Law on Commercial Arbitration, especially on the regulations related to the Court's arbitration assistance and supervision.
In the closing remark, the Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh highly appreciated VIAC's contribution to the operation of commercial arbitration in Vietnam particularly and international arbitration generally; especially in helping the Court and also people and enterprises reach justice promptly and effectively. The Chief Justice, furthermore, acknowledged the information and proposal that VIAC had provided to leaders and Justice Council of the Supreme People’s Court.
According to the Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh, paying attention to VIAC's operation is also the Court's responsibility. For specific issues and proposals related to the unreasonable in the law and guidance resolution of the Justice Council of the SPC, the Chief Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh agreed and demanded VIAC to coordinate with relevant SPC’s divisions for discussion. Specifically, the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court requested VIAC to participate in the review and draft the Report on the implementation of Resolution 01/2014/NQ-HDTP guiding the implementation of provisions in the Law on Commercial Arbitration, which will be released at the 2023 Supreme People's Court Review Conference. Also, the Chief Justice expects VIAC to propose arbitral award to the Supreme People's Court to develop case law.
In addition, the Chief Justice also demanded VIAC's experts to participate in periodic activities of the Court, such as monthly online training sessions for judges to share and help them better understand the practice of commercial arbitration. In the SPC quarterly discussions with judges of Courts of all levels, the SPC will also include issues reported by VIAC to unify the understanding and application of laws' provisions among local Courts in assisting and supervising arbitration activities.
Dr. Vu Tien Loc - Member of 15th Vietnam National Assembly – expressed his sincere gratitude towards the Chief Justice and Council of Judges of the SPC for the discussion with VIAC leaders and listed arbitrators. VIAC would take the directions of the Chief Justice, actively participate in the drafting of SPC Report summarizing the operation of the Court and Court’s arbitration assistance and supervision, submit proposals on the formulation and development of case law, promptly provide information and cases to the SPC, suggest institutional and policy issues to the Courts, etc. to further promotes the arbitration assistance and supervision of the Court.
 2021 International Arbitration Survey: Adapting arbitration to a changing world https://arbitration.qmul.ac.uk/media/arbitration/docs/LON0320037-QMUL-International-Arbitration-Survey-2021_19_WEB.pdf
 SIDRA International Dispute Resolution Survey: 2020 Final https://sidra.smu.edu.sg/sites/sidra.smu.edu.sg/files/survey/index.html
 SIDRA International Dispute Resolution Survey: 2022 Final https://sidra.smu.edu.sg/sites/sidra.smu.edu.sg/files/survey-2022/22_0068%20SMU%20SIDRA%20Survey%20Report%202022_FA4(C).pdf
 The 2017 Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) Report https://pcivietnam.vn/uploads//EN-Bao-cao-dai/2017_PCI_Report_final.pdf