Last week in Cambodia, court clerks from courts in the capital and neighbouring provinces met for an entire week to learn about human rights and fair trial rights. Issues such as discrimination and how to deal with people coming to the court were discussed.
“This training is very important to know about all rights and to be fair in court. The best was to learn about the fair trial rights, especially the rights of victims and accused persons, who currently do not enjoy all their rights in my country,” says Chamnan Vannda, who works as a court clerk at Kandal first instance provincial court. “As court clerks we are the representatives of the government so we should try our best to guarantee people’s rights.”
The course represents an extension of the cooperation between the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Royal Academy of Judicial Professions in Cambodia.
The 26 court clerks all graduated from the Royal Academy’s court clerk school last year. This course aims to train court clerks on how they can apply human rights principles in their work.
The training will be repeated in May and October so all court clerks who graduated in 2014 can take the course. RWI staff made field visits to a number of courts to ensure that the course would benefit clerks from the capital and provinces, as well as women and men equally.
Chhoengduong Keo, who also works as a court clerk at Kandal first instance provincial court, says she was very happy to attend the training. “As a court clerk my duty is to ensure the rights of women both as victims and accused person. I would like to have more specific training on gender issues and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).”
In addition to offer continuing training for in-service court staff, RWI is supporting the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions to offer mandatory human rights courses as part of the credited initial trainings of judges and prosecutors, and possiblly also future court clerks.