The Death Penalty for Drug Crimes in Vietnam’s Criminal Law and the Possibility of Abolishing the Death Penalty for these Crimes

  • Dr Pham Hong Hanh
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  • Dr Pham Hong Hanh

    Lecturer at Faculty of International Law, Hanoi Law University, Vietnam.

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As one of the countries that still retain the death penalty for a number of crimes, including drug crimes, the abolition of the death penalty is one of the topics on which human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, including Universal Periodic Review and Treaty-based mechanisms, often recommend to Vietnam. In Vietnam’s Criminal Code, the death penalty is the most severe punishment and shall be applicable to extremely serious and cruel crimes, including drug crimes. The number of drug crimes sentenced to the death penalty in the 2015 Criminal Code, amended and supplemented in 2017, has reduced compared to that in the previous criminal codes. Regarding drug crimes, this penalty shall be applied for three kinds of crimes (Illegal production; illegally transporting and illegally trading narcotics). Although Vietnam's criminal law currently maintains the death penalty for drug crimes, Vietnam has ground to eliminate the death penalty for drug crimes in the future. The content of this article is analyzing the provisions of Vietnam’s criminal law on applying the death penalty for a drug crime. Besides, the article will evaluate the possibility of abolishing the death penalty for drug crimes in Vietnam. Based on this, some recommendations would be made towards death penalty abolition for these kinds of crimes in the future.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 2, Page 445 - 459


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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