On January 19, 1960, the People’s Court of Hà Nội of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) staged a show-trial for five defendants accused of participating in the famous domestic political protest movement known as Nhân Văn - Giai Phẩm. The defendants included the well-known political activist Nguyễn Hữu Đang and the celebrated female writer Thụy An, both of whom were found guilty and issued fifteen-year prison sentences. Based on a lengthy report about this case authored by the judge who presided at the trial and only recently unearthed from state archives in Hà Nội, this paper illuminates for the first time the mysterious inner workings of this notorious judicial proceeding. It also sheds light on the nature of Vietnamese communist legal culture and on the relative power of the party and the state during this formative period in the history of the DRV.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.