The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute has launched a new report addressing challenges to the independence of the judiciary in Cambodia. The report follows a fact-finding mission to Cambodia by a delegation including Doughty Street barrister Mark Wassouf, who acted as mission rapporteur.
The report exposes the extent of corrupt influence – both political and financial – which is exerted over the judiciary of Cambodia and its impact on human rights cases. The IBAHRI calls on the Cambodian government to rectify, both in law and practice, the situation that allows the authorities to place political pressure on the judiciary and to address the endemic corruption within the Cambodian legal system.
Doughty Street barrister and IBAHRI co-chair Baroness Helena Kennedy said, ‘Though many challenges remain, if the three new laws are amended and the relevant stakeholders are appropriately engaged, the IBAHRI is hopeful that public trust in legal institutions can be built. With the right amount of support and desire from the authorities, Cambodia’s legal professionals can begin to play a positive role in protecting individual rights and delivering justice for all Cambodians. The IBAHRI report sets out a number of recommendations with the aim of contributing to an effective and independent legal profession in Cambodia.’