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71% of court case backlog cleared

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Justice minister Koeut Rith (centre) at a press conference to announce the result. Justice Ministry

71% of court case backlog cleared

The Ministry of Justice declared the results of a 150-day effort to clear a backlog of cases in the country’s courts on Friday, revealing that 71 per cent, or 27,700 cases, had been cleared.

Justice minister Koeut Rith spearheaded the effort of clearing the cases with the assistance of directors of municipal and provincial courts, prosecutors and other relevant officials.

“As a result, the Phnom Penh municipal and provincial courts tackled 27,700, equal to 71 per cent of backlogged cases in the investigative or trial stages,” the ministry said.

Municipal and provincial courts have also tackled 20,200 new cases since the campaign started on May 18, which is 61 per cent of the total cases brought to courts since that date.

The committee in charge of clearing the backlog of cases, which is headed by the minister, congratulated Siem Reap, Koh Kong, Kampot, Banteay Meanchey and Tbong Khmum provincial courts for clearing their entire backlog of cases.

Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said: “These five provinces successfully finished 100 per cent [of their backlogged cases].”

The committee expects all municipal and provincial courts to stick to the campaign approach – “fast, accurate, justice and no corruption”.

Malin said he expected all cases will be cleared by the end of the year.

Soeng Sen Karuna, the senior investigator for rights group Adhoc, urged the ministry and Phnom Penh municipal and provincial court to manage each case well. He said a measure should be implemented to ensure cases do not get backlogged again in the future.

“Solving the issue of backlogged cases forcefully in a short period of time cannot produce good and just solutions. Measures improving the case management system in the courts must be taken in a specific and proper time to prevent further backlog,” he said.

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