Cambodia’s Court of Appeal Routinely Fails to Explain Verdicts: Rights Group

Cambodia’s Court of Appeal, which has come under fire for what are widely seen as politically motivated verdicts issued at the behest of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s one-party government, failed to provide a reasoned judgment in nearly three-fourths of cases it tried over the last two years, a rights group said Thursday.

In a report for its Fair Trial Rights Newsletter, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) said its staffers were present for the verdicts of 338 cases between Nov. 1, 2016 and Aug. 31, 2018 at the Phnom Penh Court of Appeal, and found that in 244 instances, or 72 percent of the time, judges only announced their decision without explaining it.

According to CCHR’s findings, the percentage of cases where no reasons were given for the judgment “has drastically increased” since last year, ranging from 61 percent between May and July of 2017 to 89 percent between May and July 2018.

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