Not Meant to Last: Vietnam's First Constitution

Book Chapter

Tønnesson, Stein (2019) Not Meant to Last: Vietnam's First Constitution, in Kevin Y. L. Tan, ed., Constitutional Foundings in Southeast Asia. Oxford: Hart (225–256).

​Profs Kevin YL Tan ( National University of Singapore) and Bui Ngoc Son (Chinese University of Hong Kong) edited the book together. It contains analyses of how each of 11 Southeast Asian countries got its first constitution. Chapter 9 on Vietnam delves into the constitutional moment in 1946, analyses its content and the debates preceding its adoption, and compares it to Vietnam's four later constitutions (1959, 1980, 1992, 2013).

​Vietnam's first constitution, which was adopted in November 1946, shortly before the outbreak of the First Indochina War, remains the most democratic of all the five constitutions Vietnam has had so far, and has served as inspiration for reformers trying to obtain revisions in the direction of more freedom, democracy and rule of law.

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Stein Tønnesson

Stein Tønnesson

Research Professor