About 30 Appeals Court clerks delivered a written appeal to reporters near the National Assembly on Thursday, urging Prime Minister Hun Sen to end new exam requirements they fear could lead to their employment being terminated.
The officials presented a letter, thumbprinted by 46 clerks, stating that they are already trained and do not want to take any exam that would lead to their removal.
“Before we fulfilled our duties as clerks, we were trained on official courses and we finished law school, plus we have vast work experience,” said Ky Bun Treang, a clerk for Appeal Court Judge Um Sarith. “If the government sends us back to law school and has a test to dismiss us, it must be an injustice.”
Eight of the court’s 62 clerks were sent on three-month long courses at the Royal Academy for Court Professionals in recent months, and five of them failed the final exam, meaning that they will now be removed from their positions, said Tep Sophat, the Appeals Court’s chief clerk.
He added that he also fears he could lose his job if he attends the course but fails the exam.
The clerks said in their appeal to Hun Sen that they all had affiliations to his ruling Cambodian People’s Party, adding that they were prepared to attend training, but wanted to return to their jobs afterward.
“We just want to work in the same place,” said clerk Say Sok Heang.
Tuot Lux, secretary of state for the Ministry of Justice, said the clerks should have addressed their concerns to Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana rather than taking them to the media.
He added that the training was required in order to raise standards at the court.
“Any training for clerks is necessary to strengthen their capacity to enable them to work more effectively,” he said. “They were trained in the past, but they have to learn modern techniques.”