Cambodia

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Advocacy Guide

CODES

LEGAL TRAINING RESOURCE CENTER

The atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime killed an estimated 2 million people, leaving Cambodia in ruins. By 1990 there were only 10 lawyers in all of Cambodia, making legal services effectively non-existent. A constant parade of transitional laws left the remaining lawyers confused and overwhelmed.

Despite all these hurdles, Cambodia is now a success story where formalized legal aid is on the brink of becoming a reality. A fractured, but growing legal aid system now exists in Cambodia with some form of NGO-provided legal aid in 20 of Cambodia's 24 provinces. For the first time, judges are directly appointing legal aid lawyers as counsel at the time of arraignment in many provinces in Cambodia. However, a severe shortage of properly trained defense lawyers continues to pose long-term problems for Cambodia's legal aid system.


See Criminal Justice Systems Around the World and Legal Aid in ASEAN countries

QUICK FACTS

  • In a survey of 799 defendants, 34% were tried in absentia, and only 43% had counsel at trial. In the Appeals Courts, 69% of defendants were absent from their own hearings.
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