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Laws digitised for distribution

THE Bar Association and the United Nations yesterday announced the release of 1,000 CD-ROMs containing all laws currently in effect in the
Kingdom.

“One may ask, why disseminating laws?” said Christophe Peschoux, representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who delivered opening remarks.

“The response is simple: If we want to contribute to building up law in this country, they have to be written, but they also have to be known by ... all those who implement them.”

The CD-ROM includes more than 300,000 digitised documents, said Phou Pheakvey, a law student at the Royal University of Law and Economics who produced the program and demonstrated how to use it.

Peschoux noted that the United Nations had been compiling and distributing printed copies of some legislation to the National Assembly, the Senate, police, courts and other government entities since the early 1990s.

He added, though, that digital versions allowed for more complete compilations and easier distribution.

Nevertheless, he said the UN planned to prepare one more printed version. He said he hoped that after that the government would take over, as “it is one of the primary responsibilities of the state to disseminate laws”.

Suong Leang Hay, deputy secretary general of the Council for Legal and Judicial Reform, yesterday praised cooperation between the UN and the government, and said the distribution of laws was a top priority for the council.

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