Prime Minister Hun Sen and three senior leaders of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP)
will be sworn in as members of the Cambodian Bar Association (CBA) on September 15.
Hun Sen will be joined by Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-Minister of Interior
(MoI), Sok An, also a Deputy Prime Minister and Minister at the Council of Ministers,
and Prum Sokha, secretary of state at the MoI, said CBA president Ky Tech.
Om Yin Teng, an advisor to Hun Sen, told the Post Hun Sen applied to be a member
at CBA because the country lacks lawyers and he would be a lawyer when he stopped
being the Prime Minister.
A day after being sworn in, Hun Sen will preside over the opening of CBA's new office
building on Street 180. Ky Tech said the new headquarters was a gift from the government
but would not specify how much it had cost.
Renovations began in February, the same month that Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Sok An and
Prum Sokha applied to join.
Currently there are 346 people registered at CBA as lawyers, of which 206 are actively
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy is also a member of the CBA, and Ky Tech said many other
officials from the National Assembly, Senate and the government are registered lawyers.
"They applied to be a lawyer but they do not practice the law while they have
current positions as government officials," said Ky Tech. "In foreign countries
many leaders used to be lawyers".
Tech said the application process for the ruling party politicians was no different
from other people who have applied to be members of the CBA and it will not affect
the independence of the bar association.
The CBA welcomes all people who want to become members provided they fill the application
criteria, he said.
However, Tech declined to comment on whether the new star recruits had the necessary
qualification to become lawyers, saying that was an internal affair of CBA.
Chiv Song Hak, board member of CBA said it was good that the country's leader joined
"[If] the leaders become lawyers, the law system will be more effective,"
said Song Hak.
In mid-October the CBA will elect a new president, but only members who are practicing
lawyers have the right to vote Tech said.
Prum Sokha was contacted but declined to comment.