Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bar chief talks reform



Bar chief talks reform

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Om Yentieng speaks at the handling over after becoming the president of Cambodia's Bar Association's new president. Hong Menea

Bar chief talks reform

The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s (BAKC) new president yesterday vowed to get tough on corruption and ensure bribes are not a prerequisite for becoming a lawyer.

Speaking to reporters at his transfer of power ceremony, which also saw two new batches of lawyers enter the bar, Suon Visal said he would create a committee to examine previous allegations of bribery surrounding entry into the profession.

“I have heard about [these allegations] before I came into office,” Visal, who was elected as president in October, said during the event at the Hotel Sofitel Phnom Penh.

“If any colleagues or people know about this issue clearly, file a complaint to me and I will take action.”

In a 2015 report, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute slammed the Cambodian bar as politically biased and corrupt, citing reports that lawyers faced unofficial fees of up to $30,000 for admittance to the bar.

The report also slammed the Kingdom’s underfunded legal aid sector.

Speaking yesterday, previous BAKC president Bun Honn said a drop in NGO legal aid services had increased pressure on the bar’s legal aid department, which last year handled 2,024 cases, an increase of 23 percent compared with 2015.

BAKC’s government-provided legal aid budget would rise from about $100,000 to $150,000 this year.

Meanwhile, attendees also heard the Justice Ministry and Anti-Corruption Unit would assist the BAKC in its current dispute with the Finance Ministry, which wants to levy a professional tax on lawyers.

ACU President Om Yentieng said more work needed to be done before such a tax was implemented.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and