Since 1986 and especially during the early 90s, environmental protection has become a constitutional principle in Vietnam as regulated by Articles 17 and 29 of the 1992 Constitution. The first Law on Environmental Protection, passed by the National Assembly on December 27, 1993 created a foundation for environmental legislation becoming an important field in Vietnam’s legal system. In the following, in January 1999, Vietnam enacted its very first Law on Water Resources (No. 08/1998/QH10) aiming to provide a foundational framework for managing the water sector in Vietnam. In recent years, the legislative framework on water resources management has further developed. Important water-related Government decrees, decisions and circulars on the guidance and implementation of the Law on Water Resources have been issued and often amended to meet the requirements of the country’s development, and its international integration.
To date, Vietnam’s legislation on the water sector consists of a complex system of legal documents issued by different state agencies. Like in other legal fields, the groundwork of the legislation for the water sector is many-faceted. Though legislation of water sector management in Vietnam has greatly improved during the last decade, it has obviously not yet come to full fruition. Hence, this paper intends to analyze contradictions, gaps and overlaps of the current Law on Water Resources with other related laws/ordinances and secondary regulations that have bared themselves in the implementation process. Furthermore, the main aim of the study is to clarify and determine the need for a new comprehensive Law on Water Resources.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Loan