Following a long delay due to a dispute between the Royal Academy for Judicial Professionals and the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), the annual exam for prospective judges has been rescheduled for next month, officials said on Tuesday.
Initially slated for December 8 and 9, the exam was put on hold indefinitely when the ACU refused an invitation to oversee it, writing in a letter in late November that the Justice Ministry “has no desire to cooperate with the Anti-Corruption Unit.”
Khun Sambo, head of the ACU’s investigations department, said at the time that the unit had decided not to supply observers because previous experience monitoring the judge’s exam had given them serious misgivings about the integrity of the academy.
“We insisted that the Royal Academy put a camera in every examination room, but they refused. And when we made suggestions on how to make the exam better, they accused us of interfering in their internal affairs,” Mr. Sambo explained.
However, during a meeting with Justice Ministry officials on Monday, the ACU had their concerns assuaged and agreed to monitor the exam, according to ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap.
“We have prepared a detailed procedure to do better for the exam, and the ACU expressed their strong support for observing the upcoming exam,” Mr. Santepheap said.
More than 800 candidates will sit the exam in Phnom Penh, from which a mere 50 will be selected, he added.
Chhurn Praloeung, director of the judicial academy, said on Tuesday that ACU chairman Om Yentieng had agreed to provide proctors after reviewing the updated rules.
“I think initially the two sides misunderstood each other, but I now welcome the presence of the ACU at the exam,” he said.
Mr. Yentieng said the ACU at first rejected the invitation to oversee the exam because the Justice Ministry had failed over the past seven years to provide clear procedures for proctors. For the upcoming exam, he said, 15 rules had been put in place.