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Justice ministry drafting laws for notaries, clerks, bailiffs in reform push

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Justice minister Koeut Rith chaired meeting to review and further discuss the work on July 5. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

Justice ministry drafting laws for notaries, clerks, bailiffs in reform push

As part of the process of reforming the judiciary to provide effective and transparent services to the public, the Ministry of Justice is drafting a law and statutes governing notaries, clerks and bailiffs. These three professions are not yet governed by specific laws, according to ministry spokesman Chin Malin.

Malin told The Post on July 6 that while drafting the new law, the ministry had found that many existing ones were still not capable of supporting the country’s justice system.

Malin said the ministry’s technical working group had been trying to complete the draft law and statutes related to the three professions.

“That is why the ministry is working on this task. My team is preparing a draft law and statutes which will govern the roles of notaries, clerks and bailiffs. We expect the work to be completed by the end of this year,” he said.

On July 5, justice minister Koeut Rith chaired meeting to review and further discuss the work.

According to Malin, professions in the judiciary include judges, prosecutors, clerks, notaries and bailiffs. Each role must have a law and statutes related to the performance of its duties and responsibilities to manage the profession.

Previously, there were laws governing the professions of prosecutor and judge – established in 2014 under a judicial reform programme, but omitted regulations for clerks, notaries and bailiffs.

“The ministry uses the Code of Civil Procedure to manage these three professions, but there needs to be separate statutes for each profession,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, director of rights group LICADHO, said the drafting of the law and statutes was important because Cambodia did not yet have them.

“These three new statutes will be significant contributors to judicial reform in the performance of their roles and responsibilities,” he said.

However, he said that the drafting requires thorough study and a comprehensive collection of elements to contribute to the reform of the justice system, so it could be trusted by the people.

Malin stated that the justice ministry was currently monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the current laws.

He said it was unclear whether problems had arisen due to the quality of the content or the understanding or interpretation of officials. When the laws were drafted, the Kingdom lacked many resources, he added, so this may also be a factor.

“We are conducting assessments and reviews. This is the first step towards reforming the judiciary,” he added.

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