A new provincial court opened yesterday in Oddar Meanchey province, which officials say will provide easier access to legal institutions for the province’s residents.
Eak Phalla, president of the new provincial court, took up his post yesterday in the presence of Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana and provincial governor Pich Sokhen.
The province has not had a court since 1966, and people previously had to travel to Siem Reap provincial court for criminal and civil cases.
Eak Phalla said the court, located in the provincial capital Samrong, would ease travel time and expenses for local people. It will hear both criminal and civil cases.
“Our court will receive new cases as of Monday,” he said. “Prior cases will not be transferred to the new court. They will continue to be handled by the Siem Reap provincial court.”
Chan Soveth, senior investigator for the rights group Adhoc, approved of the court’s opening, saying that having courts in each province would make it easier for citizens to have their cases heard.
“When it is far away they can lose confidence in the justice system,” he said.