Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lawyers suspended for misconduct

Lawyers suspended for misconduct

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) president Suon Visal. Post Staff

Lawyers suspended for misconduct

The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) has imposed administrative disciplinary action against four lawyers for failing to follow rules of professional conduct while more than 100 other cases are pending.

The four lawyers punished for ethical and professional misconduct are Chan Reasey Pheak, Lach Samrong, Taing Tonghab and To Vireak.

BAKC president Suon Visal imposed administrative disciplinary action on lawyer Chan Reasey Pheak, forbidding her from practising law for three months. But the punishment was suspended for five years. If she commits further wrongdoing within that time, disciplinary action would be added up .

Reasey Pheak faced disciplinary action for rushing a case and failing to fulfil her duty as a defence lawyer to a client.

Lach Samrong was punished for not respecting the principle of good relations with clients and causing disputes with them. He withdrew client money without contracts or client agreement. The BAKC has barred him from practising law for six months.

The BAKC also banned To Vireak from practising law for six months, but his punishment was suspended for five years. If he commits wrongdoing within that time, new punishment will be added. He was disciplined for not submitting defence documents on behalf of clients.

Lawyer Taing Tonghab was issued a written warning for posting insulting comments on social media about the BAKC leadership.

BAKC deputy secretary-general Liv Sovann said on Wednesday that the four were punished according to the Law on Statutes of Lawyers. He defended making the cases public and said the disciplinary committee is also examining 100 other cases.

“The dissemination of the names of the lawyers who committed this professional misconduct was made to educate the public and prevent the lawyers from repeating the misconduct. It also makes clear that the BAKC doesn’t just side with its lawyers.

“If they do wrong, we will impose administrative disciplinary action to strengthen the profession and the standards of each lawyer so he or she respects the code of ethics.

“In another point, we restore clients’ confidence in lawyers. If we don’t have mechanisms to impose administrative disciplinary action against them, clients would be concerned about the professional wrongdoings of lawyers,” he said.

Sovann said the BAKC had established measures in place to examine the professional practices of lawyers, but those mechanisms were set in motion quickly this year after power had been delegated to the disciplinary committee to check complaints.

“Some lawyers are the subjects of complaints but it doesn’t necessarily mean they committed wrongdoing. Most are not wrong. But because of confusion from plaintiffs and clients, we check. Those who understand this have withdrawn their complaints,” he said.

He said administrative discipline for lawyers can result in warnings, reprimand, suspension or removal from the BAKC (disbarment).

Some lawyers have been disbarred but not in the last two years. An estimated 1,200 lawyers are practising in Cambodia and there are 300 trainee lawyers, Sovann said.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm