Applicants Take Test to Enter Judges’ School

Applicants for the newly opened Royal School for Judges and Prosecutors sat for their en­trance examination on Wednes­day, while legal professionals voiced hope that the school signals a brighter future for Cam­bodia’s judiciary.

Despite a series of clouds over the legal establishment in recent months—including the April kill­ing of Judge Sok Setha­mony—students leaving the examination expressed optimism about their chosen profession and its future.

Tang Veasna, a 23-year-old graduate of the Faculty of Law and Economics, said that he considers his generation key to the development of a sound judiciary.

“If I become a judge, I will have the chance to develop the country,” Tang Veasna said. “The judicial system now is poor, but it is reformable.

“At first there should be a code of conduct for judges; then the judge cannot do bad things, be­cause the code of conduct is like a rope to tie up his legs. Judges today can do anything,” he said.

A total of 487 applicants were registered for the exam, which is open to baccalaureate graduates and government officials who have experience in the legal system. The course runs for two years—one year of academic training and a one-year internship.

“This is the first entrance exam at the Royal School of Judges since it reopened after closing in the 1960s,” said Sam Sok Phal, vice chairman of the Council of Ministers’ Justice Council. He was a member of the examination committee.

“It means the young generation will have good education about law and morality,” he said.

Chum Naksopheak, a 25-year-old graduate of the Faculty of Law and Economics, also sat for Wednes­day’s exam.

“I am not afraid to do this job because I know it will im­prove in the future,” he said.

Municipal Court Judge Sok Sethamony was killed last month in a daylight attack at a busy intersection.

Police have made no arrests in the killing.

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