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NEWS UPDATES 23 July 2010

Cambodian business laws in pipeline

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Booksellers hawk photocopied works outside the Royal Palace yesterday. The government is preparing to create a commercial court to help resolve cases such as intellectual property disputes.

Draft laws governing commercial contracts and a new commercial court, set to launch in 2011, are months away from being submitted to the Council of Ministers.

Var Roth San, director of the Department of Intellectual Property Rights at the Ministry of Commerce, said yesterday the laws were likely to be approved by the National Assembly in 2011 once they had been checked by the Council of Ministers – a move expected in “ two or three months”.

“Once they are passed, a commercial court will probably be established sometime in late 2011 or early 2012,” he told reporters yesterday at an advanced workshop on civil adjudication of commercial, intellectual property and international trade cases, held in Phnom Penh.

The two laws were being drafted under “technical assistance” from development partners and have already undergone multiple drafts and revisions to prepare them for the final approval, he said.

Ten judges, selected by the Minister of Justice from Phnom Penh’s municipal court and the provincial courts of Takeo and Kampong Chnang, were attending the four-day session at the InterContinental Hotel this week to gain advice from commercial judges from ASEAN-member countries.

“This workshop is timely for our country as the government reforms the judicial system and prepares to establish the commercial court,” Var Roth San said.

“It benefits our judges, whose experiences and knowledge [in commercial law] is low because normally they are working on the general [case disputes].”

Chhorn Ravuth, manager of Confirel Co Ltd (Cambodia) which makes sugar, wine and vinegar, welcomed the news and said it would give local producers more confidence in protecting product brand names and business-dispute resolution.

“This will be good for us as we will have a place where we can deal with disputes,” he said. “Now when we have problems, we don’t know where we can go so we just try to resolve by ourselves.”

Var Roth San said the government would also set up a sub-committee for Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement and a sub-committee for Education and Public Awareness.


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