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Judicial Reform Needs Brave Steps: Expert

Judicial reform is lagging, and the country's justice system needs courageous leadership from its top body to reverse the trend, a leading law expert said Thursday.

"Judicial reform can be done, it's possible, if there is political will," said Sok Samoeun, director of the Cambodian Defenders Project.

The Supreme Council of Magistracy needs a brave member to tackle reforms in the courts and among judges and prosecutors, Sok Samoeun said, as a guest on "Hello VOA."

The courts should be free from political party affiliation, and the appointment of judges from a party quota should cease, he said, while salaries for judges should be raised.

Some progress has been made, Sok Samoeun said, in both the transfer of judges and prosecutors throughout the country and the occasional discipline of judges.

But to be truly independent, he said, a judge needs to be free from worry about his security, his family, his position and his salary.