The King has issued a Royal Decree which establishes a new Royal Government Attorney Group (RGAG), a unit which is attached to the Office of the Council of Ministers. It will provide assistance to the council, and protect the rights and interests of the national leadership of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

According to the decree, signed by King Norodom Sihamoni on November 8 and released by the government last week, the RGAG must appoint a chairman and several permanent members, and will also be able to hire consultants as needed. 

“The group has the role and responsibility of acting as legal representatives and protecting the rights and interests of national leaders and government institutions, within both domestic and international jurisdictions. It will also play a part in implementing policies with the government, in order to promote the justice sector in Cambodia,” said the decree.

The RGAG will also receive proposals and offer recommendations related to the interests of the government to the prime minister, and participate in reviewing and advising on administrative contracts and other agreements of all government institutions. It may also be assigned other duties by the prime minister.

It will complete an annual report of its activities, which will be presented to the prime minister.

According to the same decree, the members of the RGAG will be appointed or terminated by decree, at the request of the prime minister and the Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers. 

It specified that the chairman who is appointed must be a fully qualified lawyer who has practiced for at least ten years. Members must be qualified, with at least five years experience of practice. 

All representative of the group must be competent and have extensive knowledge and work experience, as well as excellent ethics, it added.

The group’s budget will be taken from the annual budget of the Office of the Council of Ministers. 

Government spokesman Pen Bona said the seventh mandate government is dedicated to defending the legal rights of all Cambodians, not just the leadership.

“Recently, the government issued a sub-decree to establish out-of-court dispute resolution committees, and this is just one example of the attention it pays to these issues,” he added.

He explained that the out-of-court settlement committees are a mechanism for resolving cases for citizens without the need to engage in the court process.