National Assembly Ratifies Non-Litigation Civil Code

The National Assembly on Wednesday ratified the second half of a 10-chapter addition to the 2007 code of civil procedures, supplements that are designed to address legal issues arising from matters that do not result in lawsuits.

The new non-litigation code is mainly intended to clarify legal mechanisms regarding property rights in cases such as death, inheritance, marriages, disappearances and orphans, as long as the matters do not involve a dispute, said Hy Sophea, secretary of state for the Justice Ministry. The National Assembly approved the first five chapters on Monday.

“The important thing is the procedure regarding the people’s rights to protect theirs and their relatives’ properties. So they need to have the legal right by the court,” he said after the session. Mr Sophea said the law will also give more power to judges to decide on certain issues.

Eighty of the 87 mostly CPP lawmakers present approved the law after an hour-long session with little debate or discussion. Most opposition lawmakers did not attend the session and some have previously said the law could allow for extortion by corrupt judges.

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana said after the vote that the law is important part of reforming and improving the judicial system.

“The law will become a judicial fundamental for court implementation,” he said at the National Assembly.

Ke Sovannroth, SRP secretary-general, said yesterday her party had not participated in the vote because of a lack of discussion and explanation of the draft law.

“SRP lawmakers did not have the opportunity to discuss nor did we receive a detailed explanation from the government before starting the National Assembly session,” said Ms Sovannroth, who also questioned whether the law would be implemented as intended.

“Since we lawmakers had a difficult understanding, how could the government achieve anything by enacting it,” she said.


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