Draft Civil Law Debated at Justice Seminar

Japanese legal experts and Justice Ministry and other officials took part Monday in a seminar to debate draft proposals for a new civil code.

“Before 1975 the Kingdom of Cambodia had a civil law but it was destroyed during the Pol Pot regime,” said expert Sakano Issei, who is working with the Justice Ministry to revise the code. “Since then there has not been a comprehensive civil code.”

In February 1998, the Japan­ese government signed a memorandum to support the Ministry of Justice in rewriting a civil law and conducting judicial training.

Monday’s debate was wide-ranging, and at one point touched on the sensitive topic of NGOs.

“It has become that NGOs have their own individual laws in Cambodia,” complained Huot Vuthy, a Ministry of Justice official. He said the new civil code should apply to all people living in the country including NGOs, and that the government should know how much NGOs spend.

The two-day seminar is being organized by the Ministry of Justice in conjunction with the Japanese International Coopera­tion Agency.

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