THE Council of Ministers on Friday approved a draft law that paves the way for implementation of the long-awaited 2007 civil code.
The new measure attempts to clarify the relationship between the civil code and several previously adopted laws, including the 2001 Land Law, the Law of Marriage and Family and contract laws, according to a press statement from the Council of Ministers.
Drafting for the civil code, which contains eight chapters and 84 articles, began in 1999.
The statement said the delay in implementing the new code was due to “complications of explaining and implementing the law in relation to other laws”. The proposal requires approval by the National Assembly before it can become law.
Officials at the Ministry of Justice involved in drafting the new law and the civil code were unavailable for comment yesterday.
Sok Sam Oeun, director of the Cambodia Defenders Project, welcomed the approval of the proposal, but said it was probably unnecessary.
“I think that the civil code could have been implemented immediately, because when I read the law, I think it is OK, it is enough”, he said yesterday.
“But some judges think the civil code cannot be implemented if this additional law is not passed.”
Opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay said “we wanted the code implemented as soon as possible in order to reduce the previous injustices committed by the country’s legal system, which has been abusing people’s rights”. additional reporting by thomas miller