King Norodom Sihamoni on Saturday ordered the appointment of 39 new judges and 15 new prosecutors to carry out court duties nationwide as a group of veteran judges and prosecutors were assigned to new jobs.

The 29 judges will cover court duties at 20 provincial courts while the 15 prosecutors will be assigned to 14 provincial courts. The new employees have the right to receive basic pay and other allowances defined by law.

The King also issued a royal decree ordering changes to the roles of judges and prosecutors at several regional appeal courts and provincial courts.

Another royal decree dated July 18 assigned new prosecutors, judges, and chiefs to several different courts throughout the country.

Two judges were transferred from the courts to serve as prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice. Keo Sothea is the new Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor and Ly Sophana is the new Phnom Penh appeal court prosecutor.

Supreme Council of Magistracy spokesman Sam Prachea Meanith could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

But ministry spokesman Chin Malin said there are a total of 500 judges and prosecutors throughout the Kingdom.

Malin said Cambodia needs additional judges, and the recent reshuffling and appointment of judges was normal procedure.

Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Ou Chanroth said on Sunday that he had noted the changes, but doesn’t think it’s an effective measure in ensuring justice for the people.

Chanroth said: “To tell you the truth, the changes are not important. The number of officials or judges is not important. Rather, it is of vital importance to maintain effective work.

“To be effective in the justice system, we have to examine corruption. I still don’t believe that there will be effective justice so long as law enforcement is corrupt and lax.

“Especially, the court system is a powerful tool. But if the system itself is corrupt, it makes its work ineffective,” he said.