This year’s group of prospective students for the Lawyer Training Center will have to wait a little longer to take their entrance exams, officials said Monday.
Entrance exams for the school have been postponed to a still-unknown date because numerous candidates have complained that they are still waiting for the Interior Ministry to finish compulsory criminal background checks, LTC Secretary-General Bun Honn said.
So far, only 26 applicants with completed background checks have been received, Bun Honn said, adding that the LTC would like 100 candidates write the exam.
Members of the divided Cambodian Bar Association executive council decided at a Sept 1 meeting that the entrance exam to select 50 first-year law students would be held on Oct 27.
The exam date was announced on Sept 10, said bar council Secretary-General Ly Tay Seng, but more than six week later many applicants haven’t received the necessary Interior Ministry background clearance.
“We tried to give them one month or one and a half months because the criminal background check usually takes about one month,” Lay Tay Seng said. “But many applicants hadn’t heard the announcement.” Ly Tay Seng said a new date for the entrance exam had not yet been set.
The bar council is unclear whether the delay will affect funding from international bar associations that have supported the LTC, but whose contracts are close to expiring, though other programs have not been impacted.
Final exams for graduating law students were held on Sept 19 and 20, Ly Tay Seng said, and all 50 students passed.
The 19-member bar council has been split into competing factions since incumbent president Ky Tech challenged the results of the Oct 16 presidency election in which he was defeated by lawyer Suon Visal.
The case is before the Supreme Court for the second time after the Appeals Court twice ruled in Ky Tech’s favor.
(Additional reporting by Prak Chan Thul)