What is a good and sufficient reason for the disputing parties to be absent from court sessions?

Date: 16 August 2021

Writer: Quang Nguyen & Tuyen Pham

When bringing a dispute to settle at a Court, the parties involved must comply with the summons of this authority during the settlement of the dispute. However, it is not always possible for the parties to attend such working sessions. Thus, in case the parties can be absent with a good and sufficient reason? BLawyers Vietnam would like to share our practical experience. 

1. What is a good and sufficient reason for the disputing parties to be absent from court sessions?

Recently, the phrase “good and sufficient reason” has been used a lot in the legal documents of Vietnam. However, prevailing Civil Code and Civil Procedure Code have not had a specific definition for this phrase.

Only the Labor Code 2019 has a preliminary outline of the cases that are considered “good and sufficient reason” as follows:

“Good and sufficient reasons include natural disasters, fires; the employee or his/her family member suffers from illness with a certification by a competent health facility; and other reasons as stipulated in the internal labor regulations”.

In terms of the practical settlement, the Court may base on the definition of force majeure events and objective hindrance under Civil Code 2015 to consider good and sufficient reasons. Accordingly:

  • “An event of force majeure is an event which occurs in an objective manner which is not able to be foreseen and which is not able to be remedied by all possible necessary and admissible measures being taken.”
  • “An objective hindrance is a hindrance which in an objective context result in a person with civil rights or obligations not knowing that his or her lawful rights and interests have been infringed or not being able to exercise his or her rights or fulfill his or her civil obligations.”

2. Some cases are considered as good and sufficient reason for absence in the sessions at the Court

Based on our experience, the cases considered as having “good and sufficient reason” for absence in the sessions at the Court as follows:

  • Force majeure events such as natural disasters, fires, epidemics, strikes, wars, riots, etc. for which there is an accurate source of information to determine the fact;
  • Objective hindrance such as when a party does not receive a judgment or decision through no fault of their own; one party goes on a business trip to border areas or islands but cannot submit a written request for judgment enforcement on time; accidents, severe illness to the point of loss of consciousness, requiring inpatient treatment; the parties are the involved parties who have died but the heirs have not been identified; organization of consolidation, merger, division, separation, dissolution or equitization without identification of the new organization or individual who has the right to request judgment enforcement in accordance with the law, etc;
  • Parties or their representatives have an accident or illness and are certified by a competent medical examination and treatment facility. It is difficult to convince the Court to accept the fact that the medical condition of a doctor is a good reason;
  • Sickness, accident, death of biological parents and parents-in-law. The provision of documents such as confirmation of illness or death certificate is required;
  • Plane or train delayed arrival or departure time and be certified by the competent authority (eg, airport management, yard management).

In conclusion, “good and sufficient reason” for absence is a factor that the Court relies on for consideration and approval. For the disputing parties, they must prepare sufficient documents and evidence for the Court’s consideration.

Should you have any questions about the above contents, please revert to BLawyers Vietnam at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are more than happy to hear from you!

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