Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang, Tbong Khmum courts to be finished this year

Battambang, Tbong Khmum courts to be finished this year

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The appeal court in Phnom Penh. Justice Ministry spokesman said the two regional courts in the east and west of the country would be finished ahead of schedule. Post Pix

Battambang, Tbong Khmum courts to be finished this year

The construction of two appeal courts in Battambang and Tbong Khmum provinces will be completed by the end of this year, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said on Tuesday that the two regional courts in the east and west of the country would be finished ahead of schedule but more time was needed before they would be able to conduct hearings.

“What we need to do further includes the organisation of human resources, to find judges, prosecutors, court clerks and administration officials to work at these regional appeal courts. We also need to prepare legal provisions, so we need more time,” Malin said.

The government, he said, was footing the cost of the new courts.

On Tuesday, Be Tea Leng, the deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons, said 1,050 prisoners held in the Kingdom’s jails, including 175 women, had appeals pending at the Appeal and Supreme courts.

He said in February that there were around 31,400 prisoners incarcerated across the country.

Malin said the government was creating the regional appeal courts to reduce the backlog of cases to be heard at Phnom Penh’s Appeal Court and to provide judicial services closer to people living outside the capital.

“They will also reduce overcrowding in prisons by way of speeding up trial procedures. When the trial procedure is quicker, it leads to quicker rulings and cases going onto the next step, such as pardons [from the King] for prisoners who had been rehabilitated."

“When we have quicker procedures, it could be that some cases do not require the convicted to serve a prison term and their sentences could be suspended. There could also be some cases where the court finds a person innocent and orders him released,” he said.

Rights group Adhoc spokesman Soeung Sen Karuna welcomed the establishment of the regional appeal courts and urged the government to quickly complete their construction and have them ready to hear cases.

He said only having a single appeal court in the capital to deal with cases across the country led to certain problems, including a backlog of cases leading to delays, possible violations of legal procedure and miscommunication regarding bringing the accused to their hearing in Phnom Penh.

“We want the Ministry of Justice to speed up the establishment of the appeal courts and have them operating as soon as possible so that potential abuses of the rights of the appellant can be avoided."

“We also want to see all appeal courts respond quickly to complaints. These should not be delayed or ignored,” he said.

Hun Seanghak, fair trial rights project coordinator at the Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), said civil society groups also wished to see the regional appeal courts in operation.

He said the regional appeal courts would allow the appellant to be present at their hearing, which was one important element in a fair trial.

They would also reduce the time and money spent by families in getting to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh and by the government in bringing appellants there.

He said he had also known of cases in which the appellant had not been brought to the Appeal Court, meaning the hearing had been delayed.


  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of