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Japan and Cambodia vow to improve judicial system

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Minister of Justice Koeut Rith (right) has vowed to improve the Kingdom’s judicial system. Ministry of Justice

Japan and Cambodia vow to improve judicial system

At a meeting at the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday, Minister Koeut Rith and Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami agreed to work together to develop human resources in Cambodia and strengthen the country’s judicial system, said the ministry.

“Both sides have agreed on the importance of developing the legal and judicial sector.

“We will support human resources for Cambodia, which will help improve law reform and make the judicial system more effective,” it said on its website.

Ministry spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on Wednesday that both parties discussed the drafting of laws concerning the Civil Code and The Code of Civil Procedure, and their dissemination.

“The Japanese side has agreed to help develop a programme to strengthen human resources in the justice sector, at the request of the Minister of Justice,” Malin said.

He said Rith filled Mikami in on some of his most important projects, including the drafting of a state of emergency law.

“The minister has explained in detail the fundamental principles contained in the law. The Japanese ambassador appreciated and congratulated Cambodia, and he felt Cambodia needed to have this law based on the rule of law principle,” he said.

The Japanese Embassy could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said justice in a country must begin with providing opportunities for competent people to work in the sector.

He said he also wants legal officials to act honestly and with dignity.

“I would say for example if they [officials] pass the examinations with uncertainty, or there’s bribery or financial investments involved to get the position, that is wrong.

“When they have to decide the future, they will be beholden to whoever helped them. They may make biased decisions that affect the weakest people in society,” he said.

Rith was appointed Minister of Justice in early April and expressed a desire to strengthen the judicial sector for the benefit of the society.

“[I committed] to strengthening the integrity and accuracy of judicial officials’ work through the strengthening of discipline and professional ethics in this area to further enhance the honour and dignity of the judiciary,” he said.

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