Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Provinces tapped for appeal court project

Provinces tapped for appeal court project

Provinces tapped for appeal court project

Long-awaited regional appeal courts, intended to ease a logjam of pending cases caused by inmate transportation issues, will be unveiled in three provinces next year, Ministry of Justice officials said yesterday.

The first of seven courts mandated to be built by 2018 are scheduled to launch in Tbong Khmum, Preah Sihanouk and Battambang.

Chin Malin, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, said in announcing the plans that no exact locations had yet been set for the physical structures.

“We are still studying the locations for the courts in each province, because we want people to travel easily to them,” he said.

“We need to have physical infrastructure and human resources before we have them.

“Each regional appeal court can cover three or four provinces, which will be listed in a royal decree,” Malin added, referring to the articles set forth in new laws governing the judicial system that were passed earlier this year.

Rights groups have criticised the lack of transportation for prisoners to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, a reality they say has denied prisoners due process.

“All 24 provinces use only one appeal court, which makes all appeal cases delayed, and the court can’t review all complaints fairly and in equal time,” Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor with rights group Licadho, said yesterday.

“Prisoners staying in [more remote] provinces lack the chance to join in their appeal hearings.

They sometimes need to pay out of their own pockets for transportation. This shows the lack of justice for them.”

The creation of the new courts will go a long way toward solving that problem by “bringing public legal services closer to the people”, said Sam Prachea Manith, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Magistracy.

Manith added, however, without elaborating, that more needs to be done for that to happen.

The government first announced plans to create a series of regional appeal courts in 2012.

The Post has previously reported that appellants can wait up to five years or more to have their cases heard due to backlog at the Kingdom’s sole appeal court in Phnom Penh.

Additionally, 69 per cent of cases at the court are heard in absentia due to prisoners being unable to travel to the capital when summonsed, often multiple times, for their hearings.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro