Question 96: In a divorce case, if the plaintiff is a spouse using a private detective service to investigate and collect evidence (such as evidence of adultery), is such evidence legally valid for the Court to consider?

Private detective services have been conducted by many organisations and individuals for years, even though it is not a prohibited activity, our State has not yet created a legal framework for this type of service. Therefore, only documents which have been lawfully notarised or certified by notarisation practicing organisations, or documents provided by the bailiff service are sources of lawful evidence without any proof to be required. Other documents collected through private detective services such as electronic data, and physical evidence are not automatically considered as sources of lawful evidence and must be proved in accordance with the legal provisions.

In fact, the collection of evidence of private detectives composes of written documents, images, videos, etc. In cases involving the hiring of “private detectives”, please note that the act of collecting personal information, correspondence, other people’s photos, investigating and tracking other people, etc. may be considered for violations of law depending on specific acts. As analysed above, Vietnam has not yet had a legal framework for private detective services and as a result, if any spouse whose information is collected and being hacked, is tracked denounces against the action of private detectives, and the private detectives are accused of violating the law, the person hiring such private detectives may also be jointly liable.

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