Officials Stress Necessity of National Commercial Court

Officials from the government and the Phnom Penh Chamber of Commerce agreed earlier this week that Cambodia needs a commercial court specializing in business-dispute resolution so that investors can have full confidence in the legal system, Cham­ber officials said.

The court system has been weak­ened by lack of trust, Cham­ber of Commerce Vice Pres­i­dent Kong Triv said Sunday. Various legal cases recently have jammed the court system as they wait to be heard by the Phnom Penh Muni­cipal Court, the Ap­peals Court and the Supreme Court.

Ministry of Commerce Secre­tary of State Sok Siphana told reporters earlier this month that the US wanted Cambodia to create a commercial court to facilitate its entrance into the World Trade Organization next year.

The Council of Ministers on Friday agreed with the ministry to create the commercial court but added that it would need technical assistance from the US to provide training to court officials, according to a Council statement.

Members of the business community, including the banking and industrial sectors, agreed to the plans for a commercial court.

“If we had a special court, we surely could provide justice to local and foreign business people,” Kong Triv said.

Sar Kim Lomouth, Canadia Bank’s loan committee head, said last week that the commercial bank sector welcomed the special court system. “If we have a commercial court, business will be [conducted] in confidence,” Sar Kim Lomouth said.

According to a report conducted by the Mekong Project Development Facility, the current judicial process is both costly and unreliable.

Improved judicial access in Cambodia, as it pertains to lending activity, is urgently needed. One remedy would be to create a commercial court for the adjudication of commercial claims and disputes, particularly relating to contract and debt obligations, the study showed.


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