Introduction

During the implementation and application of the Administrative Procedure Law, many issues arose in relation to the statute of limitations for initiating suits. To overcome these obstacles, the council of judges of the Supreme People's Court issued Resolution 1/2015/HÐTP-TANDTC, which amends Resolution 2/2011/HÐTP-TANDTC with regard to the guidelines for the implementation of the law.

The new resolution amended Article 1(1)(b) of Resolution 2/2011 as follows:

"Administrative decisions, issued after having complaints, which retain the old administrative decisions as the previous ones or modify, substitute, cancel parts or whole previous decisions as shown at point a clause 1 of this Article."

In comparison with the former resolution, the new resolution includes the words "retain the old administrative decisions", which means that administrative decisions issued after complaints have been settled can now be used as the basis of a new suit in administrative cases.

Former law

Compared with Resolution 2/2011, the new resolution has strengthened claimants' right to complain and initiate suits. Under Resolution 2/2011 administrative decisions which upheld previous administrative decisions and were issued after complaints had been settled could not be used as the basis of a new suit. Further, no new statute of limitations (beginning on the day on which the second decision was issued) was initiated. Consequently, there were circumstances in which claimants' lawful rights and interests were violated.

For example, if the person with the authority to settle the complaints wanted to retain the previous administrative decision and prevent complainants from filing a suit, he or she could delay the issuance of a decision until the statute of limitations for initiating a suit had expired. This seriously affected a complainant's right to initiate a suit where it was dissatisfied with the decision regarding the settlement of its complaints.

Further, a complainant's rights could be violated where, for subjective reasons, it received a decision regarding the settlement of its complaints only after the statute of limitation for initiating suits had expired. In both circumstances, complainants were prevented from filing suits against decisions and were limited to bringing a second complaint before the competent authority.

New law

Under Resolution 1/2015, decisions regarding the settlement of the complaints which uphold a previous decision can now be used as the basis of a new suit in administrative cases. Therefore, if complainants are not satisfied with an original decision, they can initiate a new suit against the decision before the administrative courts. In doing so, a new statute of limitations will begin from the date on which the complainant received or obtained knowledge of the original decision.

Comment

The new Resolution 1/2015 has fully secured the right to complain and initiate suits in administrative cases. With this provision, the court administrative procedures will become clearer and more effective, contributing to the development of the national judicial system.

For further information on this topic please contact Khoi Tran at LNT & Partners by telephone (+84 8 3821 2357) or email (khoi.tran@lntpartners.com) The LNT & Partners website can be accessed at www.lntpartners.com.

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