Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal Court expanding



Appeal Court expanding

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Phnom Penh Court of Appeal. Hean Rangsey

Appeal Court expanding

A royal decree, signed by King Norodom Sihamoni and dated February 20, has put in motion plans to establish three appellate courts in Tbong Khmum, Battambang and Preah Sihanouk provinces.

The courts will be in addition to the one in Phnom Penh, which is due to be called the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal. The announcement also came with a flurry of appointments and transfers to man the expansion.

The royal decree said Supreme Court Judge Mong Mony Chakrya has been appointed president of the Court of Appeal in Tbong Khmum province, while prosecutor Veng Bunthoeun was appointed its deputy president.

The royal decree said Judge Sam Bunthon had been appointed president of the Court of Appeal in Battambang province, while Judge Thou Money was appointed his deputy. Judge Pak Chan Sambo has been appointed deputy president of the Court of Appeal in Preah Sihanouk province, while the presidency remains vacant.

The King has also appointed 12 prosecutor generals, a deputy prosecutor general, and prosecutors at the three new regional appeal courts.

At the same time, 32 vice-presidents and judges and 15 prosecutors and deputy prosecutors were ordered to be transferred across the various municipal and provincial courts.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said on Sunday that all three regional courts will be launched on April 1. He said the appointment of more officials would be ongoing for those areas, such as the vacant president’s position in the Preah Sihanouk Court of Appeal.

“Appointments of officials are considered on the basis of merit, experience, competence, and their relevant prior roles and responsibilities.

“The decision is made by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, who discusses and studies, in particular, the appointees’ reputation and competence,” he said.

As for the appointment and transfer of judges and prosecutors from one provincial court to another, Malin said some are made due to periodic changes every four years. But some are changed as and when necessary.

Malin said that, in principle, judges are changed every four years to improve work efficiency.

“If someone stays in the same place for too long, he tends to build a strong network there and may engage in corruption and nepotism. So such moves every four years serve to curb corruption and create efficiencies by sharing experiences from one place to another.

“It’s also a change in the working environment for the officials because in the old place they might get bored and go somewhere else,” he said.

Rights group Licadho vice-president Am Sam Ath said on Sunday that the three additional regional appeal establishments had positive and negative implications.

On the positive side, he said it would help speed up the process of getting rid of congestion at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, adding that the accused must be heard as soon as possible under the law.

On the negative side, he said: “It can be negative if we increase the appeal region but the courts do not achieve independence to gain the people’s trust.

“Trust in the judiciary by the people remains sceptical. Therefore, if new courts are not independent, it does not ease the justice system much,” he claimed.

The royal decree also said the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal must hear appeals against decisions referred by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Supreme Court and court of Kandal province.

The Tbong Khmum Court of Appeal must hear appeals against decisions referred by the courts of Tbong Khmum, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces.

The Battambang Court of Appeal will be responsible for Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap provinces.

And finally, the Preah Sihanouk Court of Appeal will be responsible for Preah Sihanouk, Takeo, Kampot, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial