Bar May Dissolve Without High Court Ruling

If the Supreme Court does not make a ruling on who will lead the Cambodian Bar Association Coun­cil by October, the group may dissolve, the association’s pres­ident-elect warned Monday.

Suon Visal said the mandate for the council’s members ends on Oct 16 and without a resolution to a lengthy deadlock over its presidency, the bar will “automatically dissolve itself.”

More than six months after con­tro­versy erupted over who was en­titled to lead the Cam­bodian Bar Association Council, lawyers are still waiting for a Sup­reme Court decision to see who will emerge as the group’s president.

The controversy erupted following an Oct 16 vote that saw long-time legal aid lawyer Suon Visal de­feat incumbent Ky Tech in a run-off by 19 votes of a total 236 cast, marking the first time a leg­al aid lawyer has won.

In a Nov 19 closed-door decision, Appeals Court Judge Thou Mony overruled the election re­sults and ordered Ky Tech to be im­mediately reinstated as president of the Bar Council. Suon Vi­sal appealed the decision shortly afterward.

“We want the case to be tried soon because we want to hear what is going to happen next,” Suon Visal said. “The bar cannot do anything at this time,” he said, ad­ding that meetings convened by Ky Tech have failed to meet quorum.

Ky Tech on Monday called law­yers supporting Suon Visal “the destroyers of the bar” but added: “There is no obstacle. The lack of quorum does not happen.”

Ky Tech also claimed that those supporting Suon Visal were not paying their fees to the organization.

A Supreme Court clerk said there was no date scheduled for the hearing because the judge in charge is still reviewing the matter.

Association Secretary-General Ly Tay Seng said last week that the association’s day-to-day operations continue as normal, but that there is little interaction between the camp that supports Suon Vi­sal and Ky Tech’s supporters.

He said the Bar Council has met twice since November.



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