King Norodom Sihamoni officially appointed new members to the judicial body that oversees the Kingdom’s judges and prosecutors last week, following the passing of a controversial law earlier this year outlining its organisation and functioning.
According to a Royal Decree that was signed Thursday by the King, in addition to the three permanent members – Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana, President of the Supreme Court Dit Munty, and Prosecutor General of the Supreme Court Chea Leang – eight prosecutors and judges have been appointed to the Supreme Council of the Magistracy (SCM).
Oum Sarith, Ith Rady, Plang Chhlam, Buninh Bunnary, Prak Kimsan, Seng Bunkheang, Sam Bunphon and Srea Ang have been appointed for the five-year term.
The SCM, which is presided over by the King, has the power to appoint, transfer, suspend and remove judges and prosecutors.
The process for filling the seats of the SCM was outlined in one of three controversial judiciary laws passed in May.
Civil society groups have widely decried the laws – which give the Ministry of Justice control over the administration of courts, the SCM and the promotions and disciplining of judges and prosecutors – saying they undermine court independence.