Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Municipal Court has fewer cases pending from last year: official



Municipal Court has fewer cases pending from last year: official

Municipal Court has fewer cases pending from last year: official

Court President Chiv Keng credits greater efficiency and the addition

of more judges and prosecutors for the rise in closed cases 

A TOP Phnom Penh Municipal Court official said Monday greater efficiency and an increase in judges has seen a dramatic reduction in outstanding cases this year.

Chiv Keng, president of the Municipal Court, said despite a normal annual case load, the court has been able to render more judgments than last year.

"By the end of 2008, we will have about 6,500 unresolved cases. At the end of 2007, that number was 9,200, he told the Post on Monday.

"This does not mean that we've had fewer cases this year. We received a similar number of cases to previous years, but this year we worked efficiently and increased the number of judges and prosecutors," he said.

Chiv Keng said the Municipal Court on average receives between 3,000 and 5,000 new cases each year.

"We have solved more court cases this year than last year," he said.

More judges

The court upped its number of judges in 2008 from nine to 16, Chiv Keng said, adding that plans are in place to reach a target of 45 judges in coming months, as well as 25 prosecutors, up from the current number of eight.

WE HAVE SOLVED MORE COURT CASES THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR.

He added that space has become an issue for the court, which plans to build a new six-storey building at its current location.

Cramped quarters

In its latest annual report, the Court Watch Project-conducted between October 2006 and September 2007 by the Center for Social Development-found that the court had only two courtrooms, in which it heard more than 884 criminal cases within the reporting period.

The report said the court heard an average of three criminal cases each day, with half the trials monitored lasting less than 20 minutes.

Sok Sam Oeun, executive director for the Cambodian Defenders Project, said he saw improvement in the court system but that there was much work still to be done.

"The court should grant greater independence to its judges so that they can make their own decisions about court cases," he said.

Chiv Keng acknowledged that Cambodian courts are not perfect and that many years would be needed to initiate improvements.

"We are not 100 percent perfect now. But we have made many reforms, and we don't hear as much criticism about the court being corrupt as we did in the last three or four years," he said.

He added that the court now has a mechanism whereby people can report inactivity or any other abuses of power.

Chiv Keng said Cambodia needs up to 300 additional judges and prosecutors to serve throughout the country.

Cambodia currently has only about 200 judges and prosecutors nationwide, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there