A new group of justice officers, chosen through a transparent and fair examination process, marks a milestone in Cambodia’s judicial system. 

In an important move towards strengthening the system, Minister of Justice Koeut Rith announced the launch of the 12th training session for student judges and prosecutors and the ninth for student clerks. 

Speaking at the Royal Academy for Justice of Cambodia (RAJC) on June 25, Rith emphasised the importance of these reforms, heralding a new era for the nation's judicial sector.

"I would like to assure you that this programme is the beginning of a new turning point in your life, gradually taking steps to become judges, prosecutors and clerks… honourable professions in justice as well as in our society," Rith said. 

Addressing the gathering, he also stressed that competency is not only their magical protector but also a driver of their success in life.

He highlighted the government's reform strategy aimed at strengthening human resources across technical, disciplinary, ethical and health domains. 

Minister of Justice Koeut Rith announces the launch of training for students who passed a rigorous entrance examination at Royal Academy for Justice of Cambodia (RAJC) on June 25. Suppled

"A country is not strong unless the people of that country are strong," Rith emphasised.

Rith noted that enhancing human resource capacity in the sector is a key component of the government's Pentagonal Strategy. This approach focuses on both the quantity and quality of personnel. Moreover, judicial officials must have both professional competency and high ethics.

He said prime minister Hun Manet's measures also focus on "strengthening the capacity of public administration by focusing on strengthening the quality, efficiency and achievement of officials and institutions," aiming to bolster the entire civil service. 

He noted that the new government has adopted the principle of meritocracy as a basis for recruitment of officials.

To ensure the effective implementation of key strategies and measures, the justice sector has adopted two approaches: ensuring the best candidates pass the selection process and adhering to the principle that "the authorities must be equipped with competence! Competent people must be authorities," Rith explained.

Fifty-five student judges and prosecutors and 105 student clerks advanced to training after a transparent selection process monitored by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). Supplied

He said this includes rigorous monitoring of the process by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to maintain fairness and transparency.

“In the past, I was the organiser of the exam. During the ninth generation of the registrar competition, the young students here saw my handwriting, as I wrote it by hand,” he said.

According to Rith, the vocational training programme involves comprehensive schooling in theory, technique, discipline and ethics at RAJC, coupled with practical training at tribunals and prosecutors’ offices across the country. 

The duration of training for student judges and prosecutors is two years and three months, and one year for student clerks.

The minister encouraged them to excel in their studies and to become compassionate officials who support the people, especially victims of injustice.

He congratulated the 160 young people who passed both the written and oral examinations, comprising 55 judges and prosecutors, out of a pool of 623, and 105 clerks, out of 1,448. 

"Based on the results, I can say that the … winners here are very capable and well-qualified to be students of the RAJC, judges, prosecutors and clerks. In addition, you will be a potential human resource for our justice sector in the future," Rith concluded.