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Justice Officials Graduate US Tech Course

Nearly 100 Cambodian justice officials on Wednesday received diplomas for a five-month technology course sponsored by the US, one that aims to improve the judiciary’s ability to track cases and detainees and analyze trends.

The 97 officials were trained on an information system being installed by the US government, “which will modernize the way the Ministry of Justice documents the work of the courts,” according to a US Embassy statement.

“Justice officials will take this knowledge to use to work with the general administration and insert the data on all cases that are provided from provincial courts,” said Pen Someathea, deputy general-director of research and judicial development at the ministry.

The US is providing $2 million in 2010 to strengthen Cambodia’s judicial system, which critics say is politically biased and susceptible to corruption.

The information system anticipates an improved judiciary, where “more and more Cambodians come to trust the country’s courts to resolve disputes,” the embassy said.

The system includes a database to track human trafficking cases “and allow for analysis of trends in the prosecution of human trafficking,” the embassy said.

It will also track detainees, allowing officials to identify excessive detentions, another criticism of today’s courts.

The ministry will also be able to chart annual trends in “caseloads and clearance rates” to identify backlogs and reduce case delays, the embassy said.