Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Vietnam Considers Reducing Number of Capital Crimes

The Vietnamese Ministry of Police has recommended that capital punishment be abolished for twelve crimes, including smuggling, trading false products and hijacking. The recommendation will be the base for the National Assembly to amend an important section of the Criminal Code. 'The aim of the amendment is to make the country’s criminal code more compliant with world trends to humanize laws and completely abolish the death penaltyè, said Nguyen Ngoc Anh, head of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Police.
Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights accepts that states that have not yet abolished the death penaly may still impose it, as an exception on the general prohibition on capital punishment that is implicit in article 6(1) of the Covenant, but only in the case of the 'most serious crimes'. The United Nations Safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, adopted by the Economic and Social Council in 1984, declare that crimes subject to the death penalty 'should not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences'. Last year, Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extradjudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions said the death penalty should only be imposed 'in cases where it can be shown that there was an intention to kill which resulted in the loss of life' (see UN Doc. A/HRC/4/20).
Thanks to Adrienne Riley.

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