Amnesty International Delegation to Cambodia

28 February 2011

In late February 2011, Associate Professor Ben Saul visited Cambodia as an international law delegate of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London.

Dr Saul's investigated restrictions on the ability of NGO and human rights lawyers to represent the poor in Cambodia, including in disputes involving powerful commercial or government interests (such as "land grabbing", which results in forced evictions).

In particular, Dr Saul identified concerns about the freedom of expression of lawyers in Cambodia and proposed restrictions on the registration of NGOs.

Dr Saul met with key NGOs working on justice for the poor in Cambodia, including the Community Legal Education Centre (Amnesty's local partner in Cambodia), Legal Aid of Cambodia, and the Cambodian Defenders Project.

In raising awareness about the restrictions on lawyers, Dr Saul met with the President of the Bar Association of Cambodia; the visiting UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia (Surya Subedi, a Nepalese international lawyer); the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the British and Australian Ambassadors; the Deputy Ambassador of the United States; the visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Dr Saul also took the opportunity to meet with an Australian judge of the Extraordinary Chamber of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Rowan Downing QC, for whom Sydney law students are providing research on the Khmer Rouge prosecutions under an agreement with the Sydney Centre for International Law.

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 115d361f6b6b0e0f17130924301923220220303f102e6833370c604a2f