Doan Duc Luong

Applying custom in mediation at grassroots level of civil disputes in community of Vietnam.

Mediation has been existed in Vietnam for ages, it is a unique culture of Vietnamese community. The family, neighbourhood relations have made the central point in supplying the way to conciliate the civil disputes in society. The grassroots level of mediation has been considered to adjust by law, directly linked to customs in community. According to Vietnamese traditional concepts: “Client between his attorney and counselor is like a goose between two foxes” (lawsuit is unadvoidable), “A bad compromise is better than a good lawsuit”, “Custom rules is the law”. Custom has been built for along time and has rooted in Vietnamese subconsciousness as village regulations, customary law… The Vietnamese Government has legalized advanced custom into legal regulations (in the Civil Code and in The Law on Marriage and Family) for applying them; turned custom into community’s social norms and used helpful measures to review and eliminate backward custom.

In community, the civil disputes are very varied, almost brings negative consequences, it makes uncomfortable feelings among the parties. As a result, the relationship between them will be damaged. However, these consequences could be reduced if both sides spend time for carefully listening opinions, together find out the best way to handle these disputes. Report’s aim is using possitive-valued custom to conciliate civil disputes in Vietnamese community.

Apart from Introductory and Conclusion part, the report focus on these contents:

  1. Overview about custom in Vietnam.
  2. Some specific cases of civil disputes using custom to solve problems in mediation at grassroots level.
  3. Recommendating for legal proposals and applying custom in mediation at grassroots level.