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CNRP eyes additions to 2014 judiciary laws

Opposition acting leader Kem Sokha (centre) talks to CNRP lawmakers yesterday at the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Opposition acting leader Kem Sokha (centre) talks to CNRP lawmakers yesterday at the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

CNRP eyes additions to 2014 judiciary laws

With local and national elections approaching, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party yesterday held a workshop with German political development group Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) to talk policy.

Off the back of the meeting, senior CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay said the party was preparing to submit amendments to the three controversial Laws on the Judiciary, which were passed by the ruling CPP in 2014 amid the opposition’s boycott of parliament.

The laws, which regulate the courts, prosecutors and judges, as well as the sector’s highest body, the Supreme Council of Magistracy, were last year criticised by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institution for entrenching the executive’s sway over the courts.

Chhay said the party also wanted to contribute to whistleblower protection legislation. A draft of such a law is currently being developed by the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit.

Another CNRP lawmaker, Mu Sochua, yesterday said the workshop by KAS, which has helped both main parties create parliamentary working groups to develop legislation, used the current whistleblower draft as an example to teach parliamentarians about drafting policy.

Despite holding 55 seats in parliament, the opposition has rarely submitted policy proposals or amendments to the National Assembly in the past, arguing the CPP’s control of the legislature meant they would not be considered.