Fresh laws take effect since January
The Civil Code and six amended laws on State Budget, Press, Pharmacy, Fees and Charges, Accounting, and amendments to Article 6 and Annex 4 of the Law on Investment took effect since January 1, 2017.
The Civil Code stipulates eight fundamental principles of civil law, creating a “legal corridor” to ensure that the civil rights of all citizens and legal entities as recognized by the Constitution and Law are respected and protected.
These rights, however, shall only be restricted in necessary cases for reasons of national defense or security, social order and safety, social morality and community well-being.
Accordingly, individuals and legal entities may freely and voluntarily undertake or agree to the establishment, exercise, and termination of civil rights and obligations, but not against or exceeding fundamental principles of the civil law.
The Code recognizes gender reassignments (sex change operations), which has been lauded as a progressive move, reflecting legislators’ efforts to keep up with international practices.
The Law on State Budget is expected to create a turning point for State budget management in line with the real circumstances and international integration trend. It is also targeted to modernize administrative reforms.
Under the Law, the State Budget must be managed in a unified, centralized, democratic, effective, thrifty, transparent and fair fashion.
For the first time, local budget deficit will be considered as part of the central budget deficit, a move that aims at initiating more concerted efforts to combat overspending.
The Press Law creates many important changes in legal framework by specifying citizens’ rights to press activities.
Apart from entities eligible to establish press agencies under the current law, some other entities have been added, including tertiary education institutions, which are eligible to establish science journals.
To protect information sources and journalists’ professional activities, as compared with the current law, the Law states that press agencies and journalists may only reveal information sources when requested in writing by the procurator general of a People’s Procuracy or the Chief Justice of a court at provincial or higher levels for the investigation and trial of very serious criminal offenses.