I. IntroductionII. Methodology for formulation of legal andjudicial reform strategiesIII. The Values DocumentIV. Vision statement for the legal and judicial sectorV. Interventions for legal and judicial reformVI. The Legal and Judicial Reform StrategyVII. Development of the Plan of Action forReformVIII. Implementation of the legal and judicialreform strategyIX. Conclusion
Legal and Judicial reform has been initiativesby Royal Government of Cambodia in 1993. From 1993-2002, RGC has conduct its legaland judicial reform based on its own politicalplatform and policies of developmentpartners which causes to not well organized. Between 2003-2005, CM adopted two maindocuments in order to harmonize and alignthe policies of RGC and its developingpartners, through this they have beenintegrated.
Legal and Judicial reform based on 4 concepts setout in 1993 Constitution that let RGC and DIHRinvolve in the process to work together todevelop a Value Document which serve as basisprinciple for the formulation of strategies. Legal and Judicial reform strategies weredeveloped by a planning base team . After the firs draft was completed, RGC decidedto establish an institution in charge of Legal andJudicial Reform which call Council for Legal andJudicial Reform which under umbrella of CM.
Values Document which inform legal reformprocess is based on 4 principles :1. Liberal democracy2. Rule of Law3. Separation of Power4. Individual Right
1. Liberal democracy based on valuesa. representationb. Decentralization of powerc. Promote free market economyd. Provision of public service2. Rule of Law based on Valuesa. The hierarchy of lawsb. Predictabilityc. Transparencyd. Accountabilitye. Due Processf. Enforcement
3. Separation of Power based on Valuesa. Division of function between three branches ofgovernmentb. Checks and Balancesc. Independence of the Judiciary4. on Valuesa. Personal freedoms and rightsb. Property rightc. Participationd. Access to justice an the right of appeale. Access to information.
IV. Vision statement for the legal and judicial sectorIn order to achieve the above mentioned basicconcepts and values responding to each concept,vision statements for legal and judicial reform weredetermined as follows:• secures the personal freedom and rights, includingproperty rights, of all individuals throughout countrythrough the timely, effective and fair delivery ofjustice;• protects the existence of a liberal democracywithin the sovereign Kingdom of Cambodia;
• ensures a credible and stable legal and judicialframework within a system of separation of powers,including an independent and capable judiciary;• upholds the rule of law in a market-based economy;• relies on institutions that uphold principles of goodgovernance;• ensures effective access to justice for all in the dueprocess of law before a court or other conflict resolutionmechanisms in all settlement of disputes between theState and individuals and between individuals;• ensures the timely and impartial enforcement of alllegal decisions;
In order to achieve the above mentioned basic conceptsand values responding to each concept, 63 interventionswere determined responding to each concept and values.The 63 interventions can be sub-divided roughly intonine component areas such as:• a legal reform program;• laws pertaining to the functions of the justicesector;• implementation of certain laws pertaining to thefunctions of justice sector institutions;
• implementation of certain laws pertaining to theindependence of the judiciary;• implementation of certain laws pertaining to theadministration of justice;• implementation of certain laws pertaining toenforcement;• implementation of certain laws pertaining toaccountability;• legal education and training; and• transparency and information.
The goal of the Legal and Judicial Reform Strategy is “theestablishment of a credible and stable legal and judicialsector upholding the principles of the rights of theindividual, the rule of law and the separation of powers ina liberal democracy fostering private sec- tor ledeconomic growth”. There are seven strategic objective toachieve this goal were determined: Strategic objective 1: Improve the protection ofpersonal rights and freedoms. Strategic objective 2: Modernization of thelegislative framework.
Strategic objective 3: Provide better access tolegal and judicial information. Strategic objective 4: Enhance quality of legalprocesses and related services. Strategic objective 5: Strengthen judicialservices i.e. the judicial powerand prosecutorial services. Strategic objective 6: Introduce alternativedispute resolution methods. Strategic objective 7: Strengthen legal andjudicial sector institutions tofulfill their mandates.
The plan of action which was formallyadopted by the Council of Ministers on 29April 2005 is the document describing how toimportant the legal and Judicial Reformstrategy and comprises 97 priority action andcorresponding intervention for each of thestrategies defined for the achievement of theseven strategic objective in the legal andjudicial reform strategy.
Legal and judicial reform is currently in theimplementation phase . The secretariat of the Councilfor Legal and Judicial Reform has played a key role indeveloping ,facilitating and supporting theimplementation of legal and judicial reform. Eachproject or action of the reform is implemented by thespecific legal and judicial sector agency and respectivedevelopment partner. Based on the chart of the status of the implementationof the action plan, there has been no progress in theimplementation of the action plan. Council for legal andjudicial reform should promote awareness programs onlegal and judicial reform the public about thegovernment efforts and commitment in building astrong and credible legal and judicial system.
In conclusion, the legal and judicial system inCambodia is at the crossroads because differentlegal cultures have been integrated, transplantedand transformed into the Cambodian legal andjudicial system ,which can be called a hybrid legalsystem .Therefore, there is a need to conduct abaseline study on the current legal and judicialsystem in Cambodia to identify, gaps ,strength,weaknesses, and errors arising from the currentamalgamation of different systems in order toensure a sound legal and judicial system. Thisbaseline study can be included in the legal andjudicial reform of the RGC, especially the CLJR.
“Recent effort at Legal and Judicial Reform”Introduction to Cambodia Law: wrote by Hor Peng,Kong Phallack, Jorg Menzel(Eds), p17-22 Address by Samdech Hun Sen Prime Minister of theRoyal of Cambodia “Rectangular Strategy "ForGrowth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency. Page-11Rectangular Strategy Diagram.