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Classification of Law

Civil Law

Vietnam's legal system is a mixture of Roman civil law and Anglo-American common law systems.  Civil law operates in areas such as family relations, property, succession, contract, and criminal law, while statutes and principles of common law origin are evident in such areas as constitutional law, procedure, corporations law, taxation, insurance, labour relations, banking and currency.

Civil law systems are based on concepts derived from old Roman law, distinguishable by their reliance on having a comprehensive set of rules and principles codified and easily accessible to both citizens and legal professionals. Codified laws are regularly revised to reflect the current environment, and have stronger emphasis in civil law countries than any precedent set by earlier court cases. Civil law countries cover more than 65% of world’s legal system, including the majority of continental Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

eSignature Legality Summary

Under Vietnamese law, a written signature is not necessarily required for a valid contract - contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically or in a physical paper document (Civil Code, Article 119). The Law on E-Transactions specifically confirms that contracts cannot be denied enforceability merely because they are concluded electronically (Law on E-Transactions, Article 14.1). To prove a valid contract, parties sometimes have to present evidence in court. Leading digital transaction management solutions can provide electronic records that may be admissible in evidence to support the existence, authenticity and valid acceptance of a contract (Law on E-Transactions, Article 14.2).

Use Cases for Standard Electronic Signature (SES)

Use cases where an SES may be appropriate include:

  • HR documents such as non-disclosure agreements, benefits paperwork and privacy notices and other new employee onboarding processes
  • commercial agreements between corporate entities including NDAs, procurement documents, sales agreements
  • consumer agreements including new retail account opening documents; and
  • service agreements.

Use Cases That Are Not Typically Appropriate for Electronic Signatures or Digital Transaction Management

Use cases that are specifically barred from digital or electronic processes or that include explicit requirements, such as handwritten (e.g. wet ink) signatures or formal notarial process that are not usually compatible with electronic signatures or digital transaction management.

  • Handwritten - contracts related to real property transfer
  • Handwritten - intangible property transfers
  • Handwritten - transfer of movable assets

Local Technology Standards

Vietnam adopts a national technology standard for digital signature - National Standard No. TCVN 7635:2007 - which is established with reference to the "FIPS 197: Advanced Encryption Standard" approved in the U.S. in November 2001. The TCVN 7635:2007 Standard sets out relevant technological requirements for digital signatures. Generally, in order for a digital signature to be enforced in Vietnam, it should be either recognized or accepted by the Ministry of Information and Communications. Although TCVN is not mandatory, during the recognition/acceptance processes, the Ministry of Information and Communications may refer to TCVB 7635:2007 to determine whether a digital signature offering meets the local technological requirements.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing electronic signature may change quickly, so DocuSign cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

Last updated: November 01, 2019

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