The Ministry of Justice will officially launch the Kep Provincial Court and Prosecutor’s Office on September 24 in a ceremony to be presided over by minister Koeut Rith. Kep is the last province to have a court of first instance established.
In a press statement on September 21, the ministry cited the law on the organisation and functioning of the Kingdom’s courts, saying the lower court shall be established in Phnom Penh and all of the provinces.
The provincial court and prosecutor’s office building will be located at a temporary rental location on National Road 33A.
Ministry spokesman Chin Malin told The Post on September 22 that the establishment of the court was the last one among the Kingdom’s capital and 24 provinces.
He added that the court is also one of the ministry’s reform targets for the judicial system by bringing legal services closer to the people.
“From September 24, Kep residents don’t need to use the services of the Kampot Provincial Court like in the past. The Kampot Provincial Court is far from them,” he said.
According to Malin, the ministry has already prepared human and financial resources and documents for this new lower court to be able to operate smoothly in providing legal services for the people.
Transparency International Cambodia (TI Cambodia) executive director Pech Pisey said setting up a court in Kep is good progress for the judicial system.
“This court will enable people to receive legal services in Kep directly. The Cambodian people want to see an independent judiciary that ensures equality in front of the law and justice for all,” he said.
Similarly, Cambodian Institute for Democracy executive director Pa Chanroeun lauded the move, saying it not only provides justice to the people but also helps to create convenience for local people.
“The establishment of a court in Kep makes it easier for people to have timely access to legal services and they do not need to spend time, resources, and to travel to neighbouring provinces when they have any disputes to settle,” he said.