Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Civil servants prohibited from practise of law while in office

Civil servants prohibited from practise of law while in office

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Interior minister Sar Kheng during a visit to Bavel district in Battambang province. INTERIOR MINISTRY

Civil servants prohibited from practise of law while in office

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng instructed civil servants to take action against their colleagues who are working in public service while privately practising law. Lawyers who hold government posts, he warned, have three months to decide which career they intend to pursue.

Sar Kheng’s instruction, dated February 28, detailed the incompatibility between serving the public and taking on private clients.

He said the officials in question have to choose just one of the two professions. Should they opt to be an interior ministry official, they must change their Bar Association status to inactive or request to be deleted.

The ministry will liaise with the association and all units at the national and sub-national level to corroborate the names of the affected officials.

“In the event that a civil servant is practicing law and is not determined to be inactive or removed from the association’s registry, the head of his or her unit will advise the individual to choose one profession within three months of the issuance of this instruction,” Sar Kheng said.

“If the applicant does not choose a single profession, the head of the unit must report them to the ministry in writing. Their name will then be deleted from the ministry’s registry of staff,” he added.

Liv Sovanna, secretary-general of the Bar Association in the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC), thanked Sar Kheng for issuing the instructions, saying that they were an important reminder to those who serve as lawyers and public officials.

“The instructions are in line with the terms and conditions of practicing law in the Kingdom. BAKC supports and thanks [Sar Kheng] for making this clear,” he said.

Sovanna said if a lawyer wants to work at a government institution, they must submit an application form to BAKC, which would suspend the lawyer’s membership for the duration of their posting. The bar had published a list of practicing lawyers so the public could easily discover if someone had followed correct procedures and suspended their registration.

“Any lawyer who is caught breaching these guidelines will face disciplinary action by the association. BAKC encourages members of the public and government employees alike to inform us of any instance where these incompatible employment circumstances are taking place,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10