CPP to Debate Draft Judicial Laws This Month

The National Assembly has scheduled a plenary session on May 20 to discuss three controversial draft laws on judicial reform, a senior ruling party lawmaker confirmed Sunday.

The parliamentary meeting will be the third plenary session since last year’s disputed national election, each of which have gone forward despite the absence of 55 CNRP lawmakers who continue to boycott parliament.

“Samdech President [Heng Samrin] issued a statement convening the meeting on Tuesday, May 20,” said Cheam Yeap, CPP spokesman and chairman of the National Assembly’s banking and finance committee.

“Although the CNRP’s lawmakers boycott the meeting, we will continue our Assembly’s sustainability,” he said, noting that four other draft laws would also be discussed during the upcoming plenary session.

Donors and rights groups have been pressing the government for years to pass laws on judicial reform, but the latest drafts, which were approved and sent to the National Assembly in April, have raised concerns that they could have an adverse effect on judicial independence, ultimately placing even more power in the hands of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

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