The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) and the China-ASEAN Law Research Centre have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a formal partnership. The collaboration aims to enhance legal exchanges, human resource development and the provision of legal services.

Ly Chantola, president of the BAKC, led a Cambodian delegation to the 5th China-ASEAN Legal Cooperation Forum, held on November 1 in Chongqing, China, which focused on strengthening the community through adherence to the rule of law.

During the gathering, he proposed the creation of a platform to boost capacities and opportunities, according to a November 3 BAKC press release.

He stressed the importance of promoting the rule of law to support the burgeoning integration, investment and trade within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC)and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC).

The signing ceremony was attended by both Chantola and Zhang Xiaojun, secretary-general of the China-ASEAN Legal Research Centre.

The collaboration between the two institutions will facilitate the sharing of experiences through annual forums and programmes and support the publication of legal bulletins. The exchange aims to keep both parties informed about the latest developments in each of the two countries, as stated in the press release.

The centre has further committed to providing master’s and doctoral scholarships to BAKC lawyers for studies at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law (SWUPL) in Chongqing.

The two bodies plan to conduct online training sessions and will mutually mentor legal experts. The guidance will aim to furnish commercial enterprises with expert legal advice. They also aspire to develop mechanisms for resolving trade disputes that align with relevant laws and regulations.

The BAKC has expressed a desire for the centre to augment legal capacities and foster the exchange of legal professionals between the two countries, thereby providing a conducive environment for valuable professional experience.

Chantola also engaged with leaders and legal practitioners from universities, court affairs department and companies across China and other ASEAN countries, seeking opportunities for further collaboration, as per the press release.