Vietnamese courts are only partially independent. The judiciary is subservient to the CPV, which controls courts at all levels. Fair trials are hardly possible as the judicial system is marred by political influence, endemic corruption and inefficiency. Judges rarely rule against members of the government. Some even refuse to hear sensitive cases for fear of negative consequences.
Yet the independence of the courts, however deficient as it may seem, has improved during the last years. Wages have been increased, working conditions improved, and a judicial reform has done its part to strengthen the independence of judges.