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Vietnam: Revised Draft Capital Law Made Public

(Mar. 2, 2010) It was reported on February 22, 2010, that Vietnam's Ministry of Justice has placed on its website a revised draft of the Capital Law. Provisions that would have given Hanoi municipal officials the right to issue laws different from those of the central government, “so long as they were within the framework of the national constitution,” were removed from an earlier draft. (Capital Bill Raises Concern at House Committee Meeting, THANH NIEN NEWS[flagship publication of the Vietnam National Youth Federation], Feb. 10, 2010, (last visited Feb. 25, 2010.) Provisions that would have imposed stricter residency requirements for the city of Hanoi were also deleted. At a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee earlier in February, lawmakers had deemed the specialized lawmaking provisions for Hanoi unconstitutional. However, provisions remain in the revised draft that would allow Hanoi authorities to impose fines higher than those permitted under central laws. (Greater Hanoi Autonomy Erased from Capital Law Draft, THANH NIEN NEWS, Feb. 22, 2010, (last visited Feb. 25, 2010).)

The objectionable provisions had stated that Hanoi's laws would take precedence over central laws in cases of conflict and that “the authority to decide on, plan and execute most of the city's infrastructure projects, including those relating to transport, culture and education, would be handed over to the capital city administration rather than larger government ministries.” (Capital Bill Raises Concern at House Committee Meeting, supra.) The permanent residency provisions had required that applicants have lawful employment with a salary double that of the minimum wage and proof of legal accommodation in the city or “temporary residency there continuously for at least five years.” At present, citizens may apply for permanent residency after only one year of a temporary stay. (Id.)