city courts, judicial system, district courts, lowest level, lower courts
The judicial system in Vietnam was patterned after the Soviet model. At the lowest level are district courts, whose decisions may be appealed to provincial and city courts. The highest court of appeal is the Supreme People’s Court, which also functions as a court of first instance for certain serious crimes. Members of the Supreme People’s Court are elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms. Each of the lower courts is assigned a judge and several people’s assessors, who play a role similar to that of a jury in the Anglo-American system. All are elected by and held accountable to the local government.
The Supreme People’s Office of Supervision and Control is responsible for the uniform implementation of the law. The office is headed by a procurator-general who is appointed to a five-year term by the National Assembly. Below the central office are local offices of supervision and control, which ensure observance of the law by local government bodies and by all citizens.
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