Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry to open more local justice centres to ease court case backlog




Ministry to open more local justice centres to ease court case backlog

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A truck transports prisoners to court. Hong Menea

Ministry to open more local justice centres to ease court case backlog

The Ministry of Justice is concerned over the delay in scheduling court cases, particularly at the Appeal Court level, and it has been creating regional justice centres and appeal courts to resolve the problem.

Its spokesman Chin Malin said this when speaking at a press conference on Thursday outlining the government’s achievements a year on from the national elections.

“We can resolve some delays but not all of them. We have dealt with 50 per cent of the cases but new ones keep coming in, especially with the current anti-drug campaign. The long-term plan is to create regional appeal courts to help speed up the process.

“In addition, we have created some 68 justice centres to deal with cases at the grassroots level and encourage out of court resolutions. In the future, justice centres will be created in all districts and towns throughout the country.

“In the last year, we have started building appeal courts in three provinces – Tbong Khmum, Battambang and Preah Sihanouk. The construction is 80 per cent complete and it’s expected that they will be opened next year,” he said.

In late March, Be Tea Leng, the deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons, said there were 31,400 inmates, 2,440 of whom were women, and that two-thirds of those detained had not yet been convicted by the courts.

Of the total, 7,767 have been placed in pre-trial detention, 3,643 charged, 10,890 tried and 9,137 have received final verdicts from the highest court.

General Department of Prisons spokesman Nuth Savana said the slowness to convict had caused prisons to become overcrowded, and it was increasingly difficult to manage inmates, some of whom had been waiting for a hearing for eight or nine months.

“Expediting these cases would be extremely helpful because the charged people won’t have to stay so long in prison. When cases are drawn-out, it’s detrimental to the interests of the accused or charged people who have not yet been found guilty.

“But because they were detained by investigating judges, they have to wait in prison for a hearing. When the courts speed up the processing of cases, it will improve the situation in prisons throughout the country,” he said.

Soeung Sen Karuna, the senior investigator at rights group Adhoc, said judicial institutions should address the issue immediately, as overcrowding affected the rights of the inmates.

“It affects their rights and freedoms because pre-trial detention is lasting too long. Judicial institutions ought to have a clear mechanism to handle cases more quickly,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara