The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) on March 29 issued guidelines for the issuance of identity cards to its members’ “legal assistants”.

BAKC president Ly Chantola noted that the previous conditions were unclear and that members had requested clarification.

“Moreover, a small number of legal assistants have misused their ID cards and brought dishonour to the legal profession,” he said.

In order to uphold the reputation of the profession, the bar association issued precise conditions for the issuance of the cards.

“Only qualified lawyers who hold Khmer citizenship and are members of the associations are eligible to apply for legal assistant ID cards,” it said.

“One lawyer may employ a maximum of five assistants, each of whom must hold, or be studying towards, an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree in law or public administration,” it added.

The BAKC explained that application forms, employment contracts, National ID cards and photographs must be submitted, along with a $20 fee.

The purpose of the cards is to identify areas of responsibility, particularly during large meetings or negotiations.

Lawyers are responsible for the conduct of their assistants, and will be held liable for any damage caused by their staff’s misuse of an ID card.