Today was the last of our law study meetings. We spent the morning at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law where we discussed various aspects of economic law regulations, with the moderator Professor Phan Huy Hong. Additionally, we addressed the legal aspect of land ownership and property law rights with Professor Pham Van Ho. We also had a discussion about environmental law issues with Professor Nguyen Thi Thuy, addressing both current problems of air pollution, bauxite mining and its devastating effect on the environment. The morning session ended with a very honest and insightful discussion by both sides about the lasting effects of Agent Orange which was used by the United States government during the Vietnam War, including the damage to the environment. We discussed the current status of litigation in the United States on the use of Agent Orange, including lawsuits brought by American Veterans against Dow Chemical and Monsanto Corporation. We also explored together possible remedies to redress injuries to newborn children caused by Agent Orange.
We were able to have an open discussion with various professors regarding Vietnamese intellectual property laws as well as laws which have been implemented to protect the environment. The professors were very straightforward with the present state of the Vietnamese economic conditions as well as their optimism for its future. Overall the morning session was extremely informative and helpful for students to understand the current problems facing the Country.
We broke for one final lunch and we invited professors and translators from the University in order to have a more informal discussion regarding the similarities and differences in the legal education systems of Vietnam and the United States.
The afternoon session consisted of an open question and answer portion with a panel of deans and professors of the University. We discussed overarching issues such as changes in the legal education curriculum and the professors looked to us for guidance in implementing practical legal education. We explored the possibility of having Vietnamese law students study in our LL.M. programs via Distance Education and/or combining it with a visit to The John Marshall Law School.
After the lectures were complete we were taken on a tour of the University and were able to visit lecture halls, libraries, and the University cafeteria where we met with Vietnamese law students to get an insight into their legal education.
The trip seems to be flying by, and we can hardly believe it is almost time to return to the States. We look forward to our last activities together, but can’t wait to share our experiences with our friends and family!
~Sarah Flohr & Kerri Wyman