“It is Time to Think About Human Rights Issues”

The institute has supported a core group of Cambodian justice sector lecturers with the aim of further strengthening their teaching skills since 2016. This group, which consist of both practitioners (judges, prosecutors and lawyers) and academics, will teach human rights at judicial training academies and universities in Cambodia.

The group also plays an important advisory role to RWI in the development of courses, curricula and training manuals. The lecturers receive training in both substantive human rights issues and teaching methodologies and participate in training courses and workshops in Cambodia as well as in international conferences.

As part of the initiative, two of the lecturers were selected to participate in the International Bar Association’s annual meeting in Sydney, Australia, which took place 8-13 October. The conference, which is attended by over 5,000 lawyers from all over the world, offers an impressive number of seminars focusing on human rights, access to justice and rule of law, as well as other legal topics.

Participation in the conference gives the lecturers the opportunity to attend seminars hosted by leading international experts and a unique opportunity to network with lawyers from all over the world.

We asked the two RWI-supported lecturers a few questions:

What has been the most important part of your participation in the IBA 2017 conference?

Ms. Sochet Kong, who is a lawyer in Phnom Penh, answered that the opportunity to meet plenty of lawyers and other legal professions from many parts of the world was the most important part of the conference since it has changed her way of thinking about the legal profession. Mr. Sam Ol Noy, officer at the Royal Academy for Judicial Profession (RAJP) in Phnom Penh, agrees with Sochet. He said:

“I met many intelligent and international colleagues, experienced attorneys, legal experts, specialists, and legal practitioners from different legal cultures. It provided me with the opportunity to build new relationships and develop professional network”

How will you be able to make use of your new experiences when you return to Cambodia?

Mr. Sam Ol explained that he upon return to Cambodia will share his experience with other members of the core group of lecturers and will make an effort to disseminate the information to his colleagues at RAJP. Ms. Sochet said that she will share her new knowledge and experience with fellow lawyers in Cambodia and further include human right instrument into her legal practice.

Which seminar did you like best and why?

Mr. Sam Ol said that the seminar he liked best was a seminar offered by IBA’s Huan Rights Institute titled: “Women ‘Firsts’ – how does international and domestic law help (or hinder) to succeed in Australia and Elsewhere”. The seminar panel was comprised of eminent women who have broken the glass ceiling in their profession, including the legal profession. They discussed women’s human rights and women advancement, including in relation to national and international law.

Ms. Sochet on the other hand liked a session titled Reinventing yourself: recognising decision points in your career”. The seminar panel discussed how to add new dimensions to the legal career and Ms. Sochet explained that:

“I realize that success is not counting on how much money you made, but doing what is meaningful to our lives, and helping people with less opportunity. And, it is time to think about human right issues”.

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