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Criticism is sour grapes, says minister

Criticism is sour grapes, says minister

The justice minister yesterday defended three long-awaited laws on judicial reform which were approved by the Council of Ministers last week in a move slammed by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) as lacking transparency.

Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana said that the “three important and necessary laws” had gone through a strict drafting process.

“Although these drafts . . . are not 100 per cent perfect, they were widely discussed, edited and strictly examined by our legal experts and other related national institutions . . . before we submitted them to the Council of Ministers,” Vong Vathana said.

He added that civil society groups had raised concerns because they had not been invited to take part in the decision-making process.

“Despite there [being] complaints from civil societies, they did not argue with the meaning of these laws . . . they argued because they did not participate in discussing or drafting them.”

In a statement on Sunday, the CCHR condemned the Council of Ministers’ approval of the laws, citing a lack of public consultation.

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