The Ministry of Justice will establish a new appeal court outside Phnom Penh sometime before the next general election in 2018, and seven more in the provinces over an unspecified period of time, a spokesman for the ministry said on Wednesday.
“We want people to find justice easily, so they need to find an appeal court that is close to where they are,” said Chin Malin, the spokesman. “We don’t want people to waste time and spend a lot of money to travel from the provinces to Phnom Penh.”
Mr. Malin said the Justice Ministry had already assessed the viability of Battambang, Tbong Khmum and Preah Sihanouk provinces as the possible future home of the new appellate court.
“When we create new appeal courts, we will need more court officials, including judges, prosecutors and clerks,” he added.
Both rights groups and government officials have long called for better access to judicial recourse outside the capital.