After 1975 the legal system was brought under the communism regime and Laos
became a country with no constitution and very little other legislation.
Since 1986 there have however been effort to build a modern legal system which
is adjusted to the need of Market Economy. In order to have foreign trade and to
cooperate with other countries and also for them to have confidence in the judicial
system. Therefore, Laos has taken on a plan to develop the legal system.
The Government of Laos is now actively promoting development of the country, at
the same time the Government need to reform and adopt new law to deal with
The Government has stated more than 40 laws to cope with crimes such as
Constitution, Criminal Procedure Law, Penal Law, Prosecutor Law, Court Law,
Degree of Corruption, Foreign Investment Law, etc.
In Laos, the local situation is stable but there are still many cases, such as theft,
swindling, embezzlement, and transgression of the state tax regulation etc., which
is a corruption problem that the Government of the Lao PDR is paying important
II. Situation of Corruption in the Lao PDR
A. Together with the spreading of socio-economic and culture, the corruption is
one of the big problems that appears in the Government Management. This
problem increases very quickly in the group of Government staff.
In the inspection process of corruption in the Lao PDR is based on the
following laws and degree :
1. Some articles of criminal law concerning the corruption are consisting article 98
to 101 and 141 to 146.
2. The Government Degree of establishment and implementation of supervision
State Organisation number 98/PM, dated 30/5/2001 and the Prime Minister’s
Degree on anticorruption number 193/PM, dated 2/4/1999, composed of main 20
articles. Articles 6-12 define the methods and the responsibility for anticorruption
framework; articles 13-18 specify procedures and measures for solving the
corruption practices that state as follow :
Article 1 : The supervision state organisation is an equal ministry. It is under the
Prime Minister Office and under the leading of Prime Minister for supervision the
implementation of administration body.
Article 13 : Procedure and methods for solving corruption
13.1 Upon receiving requests, complaints, appeal, or finding of any corruption
practices, the officer or inspection committee residing in such organization shall
collaborate with the organization concerned and with mass organization for
conducting investigation, collecting evidence by proceeding the investigation
interrogation in thorough, and objective manner, avoiding judgement, subjective
conclusion, individual concern and personal revenge.
13.2 In the case of act of corruption conducted by high authorities, such
organization shall report to higher inspection authority to consider and conduct the
proceeding against such person in accordance to the law.
13.3 Upon completion of compiling evidence and if it is found that there are
sufficient evidence proving the act of corruption, next step shall be followed by
Article 14 : Rights and duties of the inspection agency
In the course of proceeding, the inspection agency has the following rights and
Questioning, conducting the investigation/interrogation of suspected person and
other involved persons to collect factual evidence.
Request and maintain the documents, information relating to the corruption
Propose to suspend annual leave, removal and request for leaving work of the
person suspecting and appearing with corruption activities.
Collaborate with other concerned inspection organization.
to the agency having authority to seize, confiscate the assets relating to
corruption as temporally.
Summarise the result of conducting process and proposing use measures to
the suspect of corruption.
Reforming other rights and duties specified by law
Article 16 : Measures used for solving corruption
In solving corruption problem in Lao PDR, disciplinary measures, criminal sanction
and civil responsibility, based on grade, strength of corrupted activities, shall be
B. The Office of Public Prosecutor of the Lao PDR is state agency that is playing
an important role in monitoring and control any acts reflecting corruption practices
within state organisations and also other mass organisations. This authority is
clearly defined in the law on the public prosecutor of the Lao PDR.
The role of the public prosecutor of the Lao PDR is to monitor and control strict
and unity of the implementation of law of the Government agencies, of the
business enterprises and society in general, in order to strengthen the rule of law,
social order, and protection of equitable right and interest of these entities and
right, liberty of the civil servant and Lao citizens.
The main duty of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Lao PDR include :
Monitoring control for the strict and unity implementation of law by the
Government agencies, business enterprises and society and citizens.
Monitoring control the performance of the investigative interrogative agencies.
Monitoring control the proceeding in the court and enforcement of the
Control the compliance of the law in prison, custody education camp.
Undertaking measure to prevent criminal activities, and other conditions
causing the breach of law.
Secure with thorough, detail, objective investigation interrogation in criminal
proceeding, and undertake measures in preventing the violation of law in
collaboration with other concerned organizations.
Securing that the wrongdoer must be sentenced according to law and assuring
that non-committing person from being sentenced.
III. Corruption Control in Criminal Justice System
1. The implementation of supervision state organisation in local and central
in the year 2001
The supervision in departments, sectors and enterprise unites in central of the
committee of supervision state organisation is based on/rely on the orderation of
Prime Minister such as Lao Aviation, Lao Electricity, illegal imported vehicles,
Finance in National of Lao athletes, the committee of rural development, Lao
Authority tourism, Tobacco Factory No. 3 and Financial Sectors in some
2. In supervising, the state supervision organisation has a coordination with
relevant party namely : the interrogation and investigation organisation of Ministry
of Security, the supervision committee of Ministry of Finance, the Prosecution
Office and others.
3. The People’s Prosecution Office
The People’s Prosecution Office has the right to supervise the implementation of
Ministries, the interrogation and investigation organisations, law implementation of
the courts and the judgement implementation of the courts.
The prosecutors have taken part in the supervision committee to supervise the
corruption and return a verdict to the court.
In the year 2001 and 2002 the Prosecutor Office of Vientiane Municipality received
cases from SIP and IO of the Ministry of Interior as below.
Item Description 2001 2002
1 Swindling of state 2 3
2 Embezzlement of state 4 3
3 Corruption 7 7
4 Opportunistic use of state properties 0 2
5 Abuse of power 0 3
Total 13 18
4. The consideration of the courts
In the Lao PDR the consideration of the courts on corruption cases, rely on special
part of criminal law, some articles stimulated the area of fine and punishment, as
Article 100 : Swindling of state or collective properties
Any individual cheating and swindling in any way to make officials responsible of
state or collective properties grant them to him is punishable of six months to three
years of imprisonment.
In case the offender makes a living out of swindling, works in an organized group
or in case of substantial losses, he is punishable of three to seven years of
Article 101 : Embezzlement of state or collective properties
Any individual using trust placed in him to swindle, subtract or change state or
collective properties which are entrusted to his care to keep, transport build, repair
or undertake other works, is punishable for six months to three years
In case the offender makes a living out of such activities, works in an organized
group and in case of substantial losses, he is punishable for three to seven years
Attempt of such infraction are also punishable
Article 146 : Corruption
Any official demanding, soliciting, receiving, accepting bribes to use his influence
for the interests of the bringing persons, is punishable for one to three years
In case of considerable bribe, bribed and bribing persons are punishable for three
to five years imprisonment.
Intermediaries of such acts of bribery are punishable for six to two years
Persons offering bribes under pressure, threats and thereafter volunteering to
report to administrative officers are not considered as guilty of bribery.
IV. General measurement of corruption prevention
To prevent and limit the corruption the Government pays attention as below :
To issue the regulations and laws
Regular inspect of corruption
To improve the living conditions of the Government staff