The Ministry of Justice has announced the opening of four more courtrooms at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to speed up proceedings as part of its campaign to clear a backlog of cases.
The ministry said there are currently 12,000 cases left pending since last year.
Given the current backlog, it said the municipal court would not be able to handle the cases on its own, while some other provincial courts also face the same issue.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecution spokesman Kuch Kimlong told The Post on Sunday that with the new additions, the court now boasts nine courtrooms.
“Previously we had five courtrooms, now the justice ministry has added four more,” he said.
Kim Santepheap – head of the First Working Group tasked with coordinating the clearing of case backlog at the courts in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces – also visited the four new courtrooms.
On May 18, the ministry created a committee made up of four working groups to address overcrowding in prisons across the Kingdom.
Justice minister Koeut Rith serves as committee director. He is joined by secretaries of state Chan Sotheavy and Prum Sithtra as deputies, and five other secretaries of state at the ministry as members.
The committee is tasked with issuing guidelines, rules and action plans necessary to implement effective campaigns to clear the backlog of cases at each municipal and provincial court.
The ministry expects to clear up to 70 per cent of pending cases in the first six months of its campaign.
Ministry secretary of state and spokesperson Chin Malin – who oversees the Fourth Working Group tasked with clearing the provincial courts of Kampong Speu, Takeo, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Koh Kong – said the ministry will keep the media posted on the results of the campaign.
“Courts across the country are now implementing this campaign to clear up case backlog. We will announce the results later,” he said.