Khmernews

Foreign Lawyer Registration Fees Become another Obstacle to Adopting the Internal Rules

Posted by khmernews on March 30, 2007

Phnom Penh: Whilst the previous obstructions of passing the internal rules have been solved, high cost of the foreign lawyer registration has become a new obstacle to block the process of adopting the important internal rules for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

On the 16th of March 2007, the [rules] committee finished its 10-day-plenary session on the drafts of the internal rules in Phnom Penh. 

In this plenary session, the committee discussed a lot of detailed points in the internal rules and solved the remained disagreements, but another task for the committee is to review the contents of the internal rules in order to make it more accurate.

Another problem which is not included in the internal rules and with which the tribunal is facing is the registration fees of foreign lawyers who wish to practice at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

International judges said that the demanded fees of the Cambodian Bar Association (CBA) in their final decision are not acceptable and that the high fees will restrict the ability of defendants and victims to select lawyers of their choice. They believed that the unreasonable fees will become an obstacle to the adoption of internal rules since Cambodian judges think that the fees is not related to the internal rules’ authorities and that it will not affect the adoption of internal rules. For the international side, the plenary session can be held as long as there is a good solution for this problem.

In order to have an acceptable solution for both sides Cambodian and international so that the planned plenary session can be held on the 30th of April 2007, [we] request the CBA to reconsider its decision as soon as possible and the ECCC Defense Support Unit work closely with the CBA.

All members of the committee are committed to the success of the integration between Cambodian and international laws for the ECCC’s historical tasks in finding justice for Cambodians.

The CBA ruled that foreign lawyers have to pay a $500 membership application fee and if selected to represent a client, they would pay an additional $2000, plus $200 a month in dues.

However, foreign defense lawyers in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal are expected to get $1000 per day or $30,000 per month.

(Informal translation)
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea. Vol.15, #4239. Sunday-Monday, March 18-19, 2007.

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