Human Rights

Biased Courts Creating Ongoing Judicial Woes, Analyst Says

Cambodia’s court system is only partly functional and has caused 20 years of injustice, a leading analyst says.

Lao Monghay, a former researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission and independent analyst. Lao Monghay, a former researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission and independent analyst.
x
Lao Monghay, a former researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission and independent analyst.
Lao Monghay, a former researcher of the Asian Human Rights Commission and independent analyst.
Sok KhemaraVOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - Cambodia’s court system is only partly functional and has caused 20 years of injustice, a leading analyst says.

The judiciary is facing more and more pressure, as land disputes and other cases pit impoverished Cambodians against powerful businesses or politicians.

But the court is not viewed as independent, which violates a fundamental right, that of a fair trial, Lao Monghay, an independent analyst, told “Hell VOA” Thursday.

“That is the right to being tried by an independent court and impartial court created by law,” he said. “So Cambodia, since having a new constitution in 1993, has defied this right. To violate this right mean to create injustice for the accused or those who are in a court case.”

The government must improve the judiciary or face the prospect of increased unrest and destabilization, he said. “This Cambodian nation has dissolved often, and in my view the factor of injustice is a factor that help weaken our country, even if it does not dissolve.”

In a family, the parents must be fair to everyone, or there will be fights, he said. It is the same in a society.

With courts under political pressure, they can be used as a political tool to silence government critics, protesters or opponents, he said. Less and less people now trust the courts, he said.

Sok Khemara hosts 'Hello VOA' on September 06, 2012, from Washington D.C.
Sok Khemara hosts 'Hello VOA' on September 06, 2012, from Washington D.C.i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“This is a serious problem for a country and a society, when the top national institutes cannot have support and confidence,” he said. “There must be action to gain confidence. If people cannot find justice, they rely on spirituality and make prayers somewhere, or ask powerful leaders like Prime Minister Hun Sen, instead of the court. This is not a solution, because Samdech Hun Sen alone cannot solve the problems [of everyone]. That’s why we have the division of power.”

Lao Monghay was referring in part to the arrests of housing activists in recent days from the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila neighborhoods of Phnom Penh. On Friday, demonstrators carried pictures of the two activists, Tim Sak Mony and Yorm Bopha, to the office of Cabinet Minister Sok An, where they delivered a plea for his intervention in the cases.

Lao Monghay suggested strengthening the courts with stronger mandates for judges, better budgets for the courts and punishment for those found guilty of corruption. Oversight of the courts is up to the National Assembly, which should pass laws immediately, and the king, who should sign them, he said.

Abuse of the courts by Adolf Hitler, in Germany, and Josef Stalin, in Russia, were signs of despotic regimes that repressed their populations, Lao Monghay said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said the government is trying to reform the judicial system, but he discouraged criticism of the system. He denied accusations that the courts work in the interests of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. “The law is the law,” he said, and those who commit wrongdoings will be punished by law.
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
X
22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)i
X
21 July 2014
You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Labor of Love (Movie: That's What I Am)

You can say, "Every weekend he volunteers at the hospital working with the sick and the dying. It brings him great joy to care for others. It's his 'labor of love' to humanity." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Put Stock In (Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)

AT THE MOVIES WITH MANI & MORI - English Learning / American Idioms You can say, "Her history and her patterns have shown that she is not very responsible with money, so I am not going to 'put too much stock in' believing she has changed." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Thick Skinned [Movie: The Lion King]

You can say, "I find that it's necessary sometimes to be 'thick skinned' to public opinions, some people will like you and some will not … it's just how it is." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video Knock Your Socks Off [Movie: Meet The Robinsons]

You can say, "You have to try this new Cambodian restaurant in DC, it's super delicious, it's amazing - one bite of it and it will 'knock your socks off'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
See more >>>