(PLO)- Perhaps the time has come for the Judicial Council of the Supreme People’s Court to guide the courts to uniformly apply the law in adjudicating cases related to internal revenue and expenditure regulations.
After all the controversy, the case of teacher Dung in Nghe An was temporarily closed with the appellate judgment of the People’s Court of Nghe An province. However, the big difference in the judgment of the two courts is a barrier in convincing the people’s consensus on a reasonable and reasonable judgment.
The 2013 Constitution grants judicial privileges, the power to judge whether a subject is guilty or not. In principle, criminal judgments of any court, once legally effective, must be respected and strictly enforced. However, legal validity and social validity are two completely different categories.
|Defendants Le Thi Dung (left) and Nguyen Thi Huong at the appellate court. Photo: READ LAM|
The appellate judgment of Ms. Dung’s case has taken legal effect and must be enforced. However, the social validity is still a controversial issue, because simply, this ruling has not yet created absolute conviction from the point of view of the law enforcement agencies’ application of the law.
Public opinion cannot be persuaded when the judgments of the two courts are so different from each other. If the first instance level thought that Ms. Dung committed the crime twice, she sentenced her to five years (60 months in prison), but with the same circumstances, the appellate court decided otherwise and only sentenced her to 15 months in prison.
Legal documents contain general rules of conduct and are uniformly applied when in fact there are anticipated conditions and circumstances. The circumstances of the case are objective, once fully and comprehensively assessed, no matter who they are, they must choose the corresponding norm to apply. This is immutable. Of course, different people will have different ways of thinking and reasoning, but the common normative nature of the law and the objectivity of things and phenomena do not allow the application of the law to be different. so big.
If the first-instance court has not been able to convince other procedural agencies, it is also difficult to convince the people to believe in its application of the law. According to a natural inclination, when people disagree with the judgment of the first instance, it is also difficult for people to feel completely satisfied by the decision of the appellate court.
The public can completely question: “If Ms. Dung is not detained, will the court exempt Ms. Dung from punishment, like the case of Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong – former accountant of the center, subordinate of Ms. Ms. Dung (not detained) or not?”. And is it because Ms. Dung was detained for nearly 15 months, so the appellate court sentenced her to 15 months in prison so as not to push any proceeding agency into the grim path of being compensated for damage under the Law on Liability. State compensation?
In addition, in order to get the appellate sentence of 15 months in prison, in addition to the judgment of not committing the crime twice, the appellate court applied a mitigating circumstance to “sincerely declare” to Ms. Dung. Meanwhile, the first instance court affirmed that Ms. Dung did not meet the conditions to apply this extenuating circumstance.
Point s, Clause 1, Article 51 of the Penal Code provides for extenuating circumstances “the offenders sincerely declare and repent”. Although there is currently no document explaining specifically what is “sincerely declaring and repenting”, but the judge’s handbook of the Supreme People’s Court has answered this issue. In principle, “sincerely declare” and “repent” are two different extenuating circumstances and depending on each case, the court considers and applies to reduce criminal liability for the offender. sin.
From beginning to end, Ms. Dung believes that she has not committed a crime, so there cannot be a “repent” episode. However, the “sincerely declared” circumstance is completely satisfied because the nature of this circumstance is reflected in the fact that the defendant has made a clear, complete and true statement about the acts they have committed. . Unfortunately, the first instance court concluded that Ms. Dung did not have this mitigating circumstance. Once again, the public questioned the big difference in the judgment of the two courts.
Those unanswered questions hovered somewhere as a barrier in the process of persuading the people’s consensus on a fair and reasonable judgment. It is likely that in the near future, the case will be completely closed and drifted into the past if there is no protest from the competent authority, but its echoes will still smolder if the cases continue to appear. similar in the future.
Perhaps the time has come for the Judicial Council of the Supreme People’s Court to guide the courts to uniformly apply the law in adjudicating cases related to internal revenue and expenditure regulations. This is necessary, valid not only for continuing education centers in provinces and cities, but also for all public non-business units in the whole country.
Dr. CAO VU MINH, University of Economics and Law, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City