The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) has condemned a lawyer for announcing the sale of his ballot for $1,000 ahead of the BAKC 10th mandate election. It said such action had seriously affected the honour and dignity of BAKC.

In a statement on September 21, BAKC said the lawyer, Phan Chansak, violated its code of ethics.

“BAKC condemns the action of lawyer Phan Chansak, who posted a public message on Telegram group CLO-Cambodian Lawyers on September 18-19, 2021, announcing the sale of one ballot for $1,000 while candidates are campaigning for the election,” the statement stated.

According to BAKC, candidates are campaigning for the 10th mandate Bar Council (2021-2024). It said BAKC will take strict action against Chansak.

BAKC president Ly Chantola told The Post on September 21 that the BAKC inspection team will summon Chansak for clarification soon.

“We will summon him to ask what his real intention is. According to the code of ethics and the directive on the election campaign procedure, the Bar Council can punish Phan Chansak if we find him guilty,” he said.

He added that the punishment would be to deprive him of his right to vote in the Bar Council. If he is a candidate, he can be deprived of his right to stand for the election. In addition, he may be suspended from practicing law for a limited time.

“If he was found guilty of serious misconduct, we may remove his name from the Bar list,” Chantola said.

Chansak could not be reached for comment.

A lawyer who asked not to be named told The Post that he supported the move, saying it is a wake-up call for other lawyers to adhere to their professional ethics.

“Because the code of ethics was written clearly that lawyers have to be independent and cannot buy or sell votes. I personally support the Bar because it can deter other lawyers from following suit. Before posting a message publicly, one has to consider it first.”

BAKC cited Article 50 of the code of ethics, which states that each lawyer must be responsible for the reputation of the Bar Association. The directive on the election campaign for the 10th mandate Bar Council prohibits vote buying by any means.