U.S. Will Spend $2.5 Million To Encourage The Vietnamese To Settle Disputes Outside Of Court

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

A new grant released from the Agency for International Development allocates $2.5 million dollars to “manage activities that promote the utilization of commercial and investment Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Vietnam to improve rule of law, support judicial reform, and enhance the business environment for both local and international businesses.”

Alternative dispute resolution can be used to settle disputes that are not subject to the courts. The U.S. uses it most often to mean mediation or arbitration. This neutral third party guides the conflicting parties to mutually acceptable resolutions.

One must first ask if it is a serious problem. Vietnam is about average for judicial corruption, so while there’s room for improvement, it doesn’t seem like the most pressing issue. Another question is, if this program is such a good investment for Vietnam, why wouldn’t the Vietnam government sponsor it?

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How much are you really spending your tax dollars? Three ambiguous methods are identified in the grant:

  • Support Vietnam’s ADR legislation reforms to remove legislation and enforcement challenges
  • To improve the enforceability of ADR and gain more trust in the system, it is important to enhance ADR professionals’ skills and capacities.
  • ADR Awareness among Current and Future Businesses, particularly Local Enterprises, is a must-have.

Confused? You’re not alone. There is no explanation in the grant notice.

Why are so many Americans spending millions on strengthening the Vietnamese arbitration system when America is facing supply chain problems, food insecurity, and poverty?

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