PHNOM PENH —
The Ministry of Justice has delayed an important exam for aspiring judges, after the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit announced it would not observe the test process.
ACU officials say the Royal Academy of Judicial Professions is not willing to work with them to observe the exam process, to ensure it is not corrupt, and so they withdrew from being an observer.
The Royal Academy for Judicial Professions says it established a committee to review and reform the selection procedure, aiming for transparency, accuracy, and fairness.
Chin Malin, a spokesman for Justice Ministry, told VOA Khmer that Ministry of Justice aims to select the qualified judge trainees, which is why they want the involvement of the ACU. “The ACU once joined us to observe clerk trainee exams in August, but then they rejected us this time, saying we don’t have the willingness to work with them,” he said. “It could be a misunderstanding or confusion.”
Sok Sam Oeun, head of the Cambodian Defenders Project, told VOA Khmer that the ACU is an important actor and should observe the exam to ensure transparency.
“To have the qualified judges, it starts with the judge trainee selection without corruption,” he said. “I believed that ACU participation is in need not only for judge trainees but also lawyer trainees.”
The ACU may feel like it is not being given enough authority to perform its role as an observer, he said.
ACU spokesman Keo Remy declined to comment.