Minister of Justice Koeut Rith expects the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) to work harder at improving the country’s judicial system in its new mandate. The call came as BAKC announced its 33 newly elected members after an election on October 18.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the minister said lawyers contribute to the protection of rights and interests in society and are indispensable in promoting justice in Cambodia.
“The new Bar Council shall continue to fulfil its vital role more effectively ... The professionalism of lawyers is an indispensable contribution to the process of promoting justice in Cambodia,” he said.
The election for the BAKC’s 2021-2024 mandate was simultaneous with its 26th General Assembly held from October 15 to 18 at its headquarters in Phnom Penh.
BAKC president Ly Chantola told The Post on October 18 that the 33 members had been elected from a field of 110 candidates running for the Bar’s 10th mandate.
He also expects the newly elected members to actively engage with BAKC to promote the legal and judicial sector in the country, especially to assist the Bar in its work at a time when lawyers still face many challenges.
“I am ready to work with our elected counterparts for the excellence and prestige of our legal profession. Please join with me for the excellence and prestige of the Bar,” he said at the ceremony.
According to Chantola, the BAKC examines and resolves all issues related to the legal profession practice and ensures the performance of duties and the protection of lawyers’ rights.
The Bar’s members also have the rights to regulate the code of conduct, decide on applications for permission made by lawyers, as well as many other matters by 50-plus-one or a majority vote.
Touch Thy Rith, a newly elected member winning the third-highest number of votes cast, told The Post on October 18 that he was pleased to be serving the Bar in the new mandate.
“I have two things to commit to – I have enough time to work and attend the Bar meetings. Second, I will continue to engage in activities with the leadership of the Bar on the eight principles for the excellence and prestige of the legal profession,” he said.
Thy Rith was of the view that the election was good and fair, with transparency and clarity evident in the selection process of member who are capable of working in this field and make it grow.
He also encouraged all lawyers to be more involved in providing legal assistance and more protection to the poor. He believed that their participation will earn them honour, reputation and respect in society.