The Ministry of Justice has announced that one month after putting in place a campaign to clear the backlog of court cases in the capital and provinces, 3,454 of the nearly 40,000 criminal cases have been cleared.
The ministry expects the remaining cases to be resolved by the end of the year.
Ministry spokesperson Chin Malin told The Post on Saturday that during the first month of the campaign, there were no significant challenges in its implementation.
“All stakeholders will continue to implement the plan, the mechanism and the measures laid out in the campaign. We hope the momentum stays as strong as it has been for the past month,” Malin said.
In a press release the ministry said: “Courts throughout the country will continue their efforts to resolve the pending cases by the end of 2020 through an approach that is fast, fair and not corrupt.
Minister Koeut Rith said at the campaign’s May 18 launch that there were 39,152 cases to be processed. They involved a total of 12,651 detainees, many of whom are drug-related.
The minister said he expects the campaign will help reduce the cases by 50-70 per cent in the first six months of the campaign.
The ministry’s General Department of Prisons spokesman Nuth Savna said the department is currently working to rebuild and expand prisons in Phnom Penh and other provinces.
He said implementation of the ministry’s campaign will turn pending cases into final verdicts and enable overcrowded prisons to transfer detainees from the jails to larger prisons.
“When the number of inmates increases, we can move them to a wider area rather than converge them in key cities such as Siem Reap and Phnom Penh,” he said.
Soeng Sen Karuna, a senior investigator for rights group Adhoc, said the result was a good one. He said past cases in the municipal and provincial courts have been an issue, with them reluctant to perform their functions properly.
“As a civil society organisation, I want to see a swift resolution of these cases and action being taken to solve them.
“Although there are many cases, we should check to see what problems caused the delay in solving them. The delay has led to a violation of the right to justice. From this point onward, it is about reform in the justice system,” he said.