Friday, June 27, 2014

Cambodia's Subservient Judiciary

The New York Times

The Cambodian National Assembly passed new laws last month governing the composition and organization of the nation’s courts. The net effect is to ratify and reinforce Prime Minister Hun Sen’s control over the judiciary. This is in violation of Cambodia’s Constitution, which calls for a separation of powers and an independent judiciary.
Mr. Hun Sen came to power following the defeat of the murderous rule of the Khmer Rouge, which led to the deaths of anywhere between 1.5 million and 3 million Cambodians by execution, starvation or disease. He enjoyed popular support for the peace he brought, but that popularity has been waning. His Cambodian People’s Party won by only a narrow margin in the parliamentary elections last July, elections that, according to his opposition and independent observers, were riddled with irregularities. The opposition has since boycotted Parliament. Mr. Hun Sen’s latest assertion of authority over the judiciary is an inappropriate and desperate response to rising dissent.

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