Members of the divided Cambodian Bar Association’s executive council set aside their differences long enough to set dates for exams at the Lawyers Training Center, officials said Wednesday.
Council members met on Sept 1 and decided that graduating law students will take their final exams on Sept 19 and 20, while the entrance exam for new law students will be on Oct 27, said Ky Tech, who has been acting as the council’s president.
The bar council has been split since incumbent Ky Tech challenged the results of the Oct 16 presidential election in which lawyer Suon Visal defeated him.
The case is before the Supreme Court for the second time after the Appeals Court twice ruled in Ky Tech’s favor.
Ky Tech said several of Suon Visal’s supporters who sit on the 19-member bar council attended the Sept 1 meeting after previous attempts to meet quorum were unsuccessful.
One of those supporters, Chiv Song Hak, confirmed he was at the meeting. He said his attendance did not signal support for Ky Tech but was intended to help the students.
Suon Visal could not be reached for comment.
The move comes after months of warnings from international development agencies and bar associations that they would not support the center if council members could not cooperate.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency’s assistance agreement with the bar finished at the end of August and while it has been extended for now, JICA’s Assistant Resident Representative Emi Aizawa said it was being reviewed.
“We believe that this is a sign that the bar council members are coming together to resolve the situation,” Aizawa wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. “We are waiting to hear formally…about the schedule of the [Lawyers Training Center] so that we can consider our assistance in concrete terms,” she added.
Kenneth Anderson of the American Bar Association also welcomed the news.