Thursday 17 September 2015
Click here to read in Khmer.
In a report released today, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) exposes the extent of corrupt influence – both political and financial – which is exerted over the judiciary of Cambodia and its impact on human rights cases. The IBAHRI calls on the Cambodian government to rectify, both in law and practice, the situation that allows the authorities to place political pressure on the judiciary and to address the endemic corruption within the Cambodian legal system.
Justice versus corruption: Challenges to the independence of the judiciary in Cambodia, documents the findings of an IBAHRI delegation that visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in April 2015. The delegation was convened to undertake an in-depth examination of the Cambodian judiciary in light of three newly passed judicial laws. The IBAHRI has previously expressed concern at the negative effect these laws will have on the independence of the judiciary and the excessive transfer of power from the judiciary to the executive that they allow.
IBAHRI Co-Chair Hans Corell said, ‘Cambodia is a country whose institutions were almost completely destroyed during the reign of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and, though it ended more than 35 years ago, its effect is still very much evident in the country’s administration of justice. The important task of institution building is still underway; however, instead of enshrining an independent judicial system, embodying the separation of powers, the Cambodian government of today has preferred to cement its control and codified the politicisation of judicial decision-making through its three judicial laws. As a result it appears that ordinary Cambodians have little trust in the judicial system and its institutions.’
IBAHRI Co-Chair Baroness Helena Kennedy added, ‘Though many challenges remain, if the three new laws are amended and the relevant stakeholders are appropriately engaged, the IBAHRI is hopeful that public trust in legal institutions can be built. With the right amount of support and desire from the authorities, Cambodia’s legal professionals can begin to play a positive role in protecting individual rights and delivering justice for all Cambodians. The IBAHRI report sets out a number of recommendations with the aim of contributing to an effective and independent legal profession in Cambodia.’
The IBAHRI report sets out a number of recommendations to enhance safeguards for the independence of the judiciary in Cambodia. The IBAHRI report recommends that:
Click here to download Justice versus corruption: Challenges to the independence of the judiciary in Cambodia (English text).
Click here to download Justice versus corruption: Challenges to the independence of the judiciary in Cambodia (Khmer text).
Notes to the Editor
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