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Conflict resolution (Updated : 29/12/2011)
 Any dispute relating to investment activities in Vietnam shall be resolved through negotiation and conciliation, or shall be referred to arbitration or to a court in accordance with law in case it could be resolved through negotiation and reconciliation.
Conflict resolution through arbitration
The Vietnam 2003 ordinance on Arbitration stipulates that conflicts shall be resolved through arbitration if two parties have an agreement of using arbitrators before or after conflicts. For conflicts involving agreement of using arbitrators, if either party brings it to courts, courts must refuse for a court appeal. It should be noted that negotiation for arbitration should be appropriate and in accordance with the laws. In cases of conflict negotiation using illegal arbitration, it should be brought to the competent courts for resolution.
Conflicts are resolved at the Arbitration council organised by the arbitration center or at the arbitration council which are established by relevant parties. An arbitration council consists of 3 arbitrators or an unique arbitrator whom was negotiated and agreed among relevant parties.
For any conflicts among Vietnamese parties, the arbitration council shall apply the Vietnamese laws and policies for its resolution. If it involves foreign parties, the arbitration council shall apply laws selected by conflict parties. Selection and usage of legal systems either of Vietnames or foreign systems must not conflict fundamental legal principles of the Vietnam legal system. In cases that conflict parties do not select legal system for resolution, conflicts shall be resolved by the arbitration council.
Conflict resolution through arbitration could only be applied once, therefore a decision made by arbitrators is the final judgement which requires relevant parties to carry out, otherwise conflicts shall be transferred to a civil legal court for resolutions. In cases one party does not agree with the arbitrator’s decision, they can send request to a provincial court where the decision of arbitration is made to request for a cancellation of the arbitrator’s decision.
Conflict resolutions through arbitration has more advantages and receive more priorities of selection by conflict parties thanks to its simple procedures and short duration of resolution and business confidentiality of relevant parties. Moreover, conflict resolutions are usually involved best arbitrators. The Vietnam international arbitration center has 117 national staff and 6 international arbitrators. They are senior and primary experts from different major sectors with highly qualified professional degrees, usually holding a PhD.
Conflict resolution at a court
In Vietnam, there are different court systesm including Administrative court, economic court, labor court and criminal court. Each court deals with different forms of conflicts. Most of conflicts involving trade and financial issues are resolved at the economic court in cases these conflicts could not be negotiated or resolved through arbitration or already resolved through illegal arbitration. Courts usually conduct two rounds of resolutions, court decision and first judgement . Court first judgement can be appealed or requested for review or re-judged following court procedures. If a court decision or judgement has been put into effect, however it can be requested for a re-judgement or a review if it is identified or recognised with illegal points or new points. This shall follow procedures of higher level review or re-court appeal. A court decision or court judgement which are legally put into effect must be followed by relevant parties.
During the process of conflict resolution at a court or at an arbitration center, negotion and reconcilation between or among conflict parties should be respected and given priorities. Specifically if conflict parties reach an agreement during negotiation or reconcilation process, arbitration council shall cancel the resolution procedures as requested by relevant parties. Or if conflicts are sent to courts for a court decision, the court shall organise negotiations and reconcilation activities among conflict parties and if it is succesful, the court shall recognise the succesful reconcilation among concerned parties and make a decision. The court decision shall be put into effect after the agreement, which does not require court procedures for an appeal or a court decision review.
Concerning all decisions made by foreign courts and arbitrators, in Vietnam courts shall consider the recognition of these decision and require to put them into effect if these decisions or judgements are made in any countries ratifying or joining international conventions or agreements on this issue. A court judgement made by a foreign civil court or a decision made by foreign arbitrators shall be also considered for recognition or putting into effect by a relevant Vietnamese court on the returning principles without requiring Vietnam and the concerning countries to join any international conventions or agreements on this issue.
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