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Minister of justice backs loathed laws

Minister of justice backs loathed laws

Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana yesterday sought to defend three controversial judicial laws passed last year that were criticised for, among other issues, giving him too much power over the court system.

Speaking to reporters following a closed-door questioning with the National Assembly Commission on Legislation and Justice, ministry spokesman Chin Malin said Vathana had responded to criticisms made by civil society groups and legal experts about the three laws.

Vathana had told the commission that the laws would not allow the ministry to influence court decisions but simply manage the administrative, financial and managerial aspects of the judicial system, he said.

He added, however, that the minister had said the laws could be amended if problems arise during implementation.

Um Sam An, an opposition party member of the assembly commission, said that despite the minister’s answers, he still believed the law gave him too much power.

‘‘I think there should be an amendment to reduce the authority of the justice minister [over] the court.’’

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