In general, locating and then interpreting sources of Vietnamese law can be challenging, particularly for English-speaking researchers. Keep in mind that, when approaching a question related to Vietnamese law (or foreign law generally), it is often advantageous to start with a secondary source. There are several online guides in English that can serve as introductions to understanding and researching Vietnamese law. These resources are listed at right.
An article on Vietnamese legal materials is available on SSRN:
Nicholson, Penelope and Nguyen, Quan Hien, Vietnamese Law: A Guide to Sources and Commentary (2007). ; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 328. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1126905
The following PowerPoint presentation was prepared for the LUC Law School course, "Comparative Law Seminar: Vietnam."
There are several websites that provide introductions to Vietnamese law and Vietnamese legal research. Note that a number of U.S. law libraries offer webliographies for Vietnam. Try Googling "legal research" and "Vietnam" to locate these pages. See also the "Databases" tab for information on several commercial databases that also provide introductions and descriptions of Vietnamese law and legal resources.
English translations of Vietnamese legal materials are often difficult to locate and can be unreliable. If authoritative English versions are not available, look for "official" translations that are created by, or for, a government organization.
Many online translators are available on the WWW, but these should be used with caution since web translators do not generally include specialized legal or commercial vocabulary. Online translators, however, may be of some help in getting the general sense of a document or passage. Google Translate will translate from Vietnamese to English.
Prepared in the summer of 2009, updated in February 2012, this 23-page guide offers instructions and tips on how to research foreign, comparative, and international law at the LUC Law Library. The annotated guide lists print reference sources, subscription databases, free websites, and current awareness sources that may be useful when approaching foreign, comparative, and international law questions.