On 30 December 2016, the Supreme People's Court of Vietnam issued Resolution No. 04/2016/NQ-HDTP guiding certain provisions of the Civil Procedure Code and Administrative Procedure Law on sending and receiving petitions, evidence, documents and on issuing, serving, notifying of court documents by electronic means (the "Resolution"). The Resolution is scheduled to take effect on 15 February 2017. The key points of the Resolution are as follows: 1. Forms and conditions for exchange of legal documents through electronic means with the court According to the Resolution, the parties to court proceedings are allowed to choose from one of the following options to exchange electronic data with the court: a) to send and receive electronic data from the court; or b) only receive electronic data from the court. For option (a), the parties must: have an email address for the purposes of sending to and receiving electronic data from the web portal of the court; have a valid electronic signature certified by an electronic certificate which is issued by a competent organization; and have successfully registered to send and receive electronic data on the web portal of the court. For option (b), the parties must: have an email address for the purpose of receiving electronic data from the web portal of the court; and have successfully registered to receive electronic data directly at the court. If the parties satisfy the above requirements, the court shall issue an Acceptance Notice for the exchange of electronic data with the court. From the date of receipt of the Acceptance Notice, the parties may correspond with the court by electronic means. However, in order to ensure that a specific court has its web portal for the exchange of electronic data, the parties should verify the same through the website of the Supreme People's Court of Vietnam. 2. Process of receipt and handling of legal documents which are electronically sent to the court When the court is in receipt of the legal documents (e.g., petitions and evidence) from the parties, the court shall print them out for its record and issue a notification on receipt of such documents to the sending party via its 2 Baker McKenzie February 2017 registered email address. Also, the court's decision on whether to accept or reject a petition shall be informed via the registered email address. The parties that submit legal documents through the web portal of the court must provide the original or legally certified copies of such evidence and documents for the court no later than the date of (i) the court meeting for checking the submissions, access and disclosure of evidence and conciliation (for civil proceedings); and (ii) the court meeting for checking the submissions, access and disclosure of evidence and conversation (for administrative proceedings). * * * Generally, having the option to electronically exchange legal documents with the court is a positive change to the Vietnamese court system. It will not only save time and travelling expenses for the parties involved, but it will also allow the court staffs and judges to store and find court files easily. However, as this will be the first time electronic filing will be put into effect in Vietnamese courts, glitches and delays seem inevitable.
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Resolution on E-transactions with Vietnamese Courts
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