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Criminal Law: Penal code to take effect in November

Criminal Law
CAMBODIA’S new penal code is set to take effect on November 30 of this year, according to a copy of the code released last month by the Council of Ministers. After its passage by the National Assembly in October of last year, King Norodom Sihamoni signed the penal code into law on November 30. Its implementation was delayed one year, however, to allow law enforcement officials to adapt to the new statutes that will supersede current laws, including some of those drafted during the UNTAC period. Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay said that although the opposition was concerned about the fact that some provisions of the penal code had not been clearly defined – notably those related to defamation – the new legislation is much more comprehensive than the law currently in place. Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said the new penal code constituted a modernisation of the Kingdom’s legal system and will pave the way for the long-awaited Anticorruption Law, which officials say will be debated in April.

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