Top Judges Retain Roles Despite Being Over Retirement Age

Five Supreme Court judges over the official retirement age of 65 will be allowed to continue working after the Supreme Council of Magistracy agreed to continue their employment at its 28th annual meeting on Monday.

Sam Pracheameanith, the council’s secretary-general, said the Law on the Statute of Judges and Prosecutors grants the council permission to re-employ judges and prosecutors at the Supreme Court who are over the age of 65—five years older than the mandatory retirement age for all other judges—based on individual assessments.

Motorists drive past the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh last year. (Hannah Hawkins/The Cambodia Daily)

Mr. Pracheameanith could not remember the names of all five judges, but said that Khim Pon, a Supreme Court vice president, Chiv Keng, a former Phnom Penh Municipal Court director, and Ty Neng were among them. He declined to say why the judges were re-employed.

Four directors of the provincial courts in Koh Kong, Kompong Speu, Pursat and Kampot had been retired from their posts earlier this month and replaced by their deputies, he added.

The Cambodian judicial system has long been accused of widespread corruption, and the perception that it is beholden to Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling party has only been entrenched over the past two years.

The opposition CNRP has been the target of a sustained legal assault, with the party’s former president Sam Rainsy facing nine years in prison and a lawmaker and senator both imprisoned on charges widely viewed as being politically motivated.

Dith Munthy, the president of the Supreme Court, is a member of the CPP’s central committee, though the party denies any conflict of interest.

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