Helping to Publish Cambodia’s First Annotated Constitution

Stanford Law School’s Cambodia Law and Policy Initiative is reporting a big success with publication of the country’s first Annotated Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Launched in 2015 as a Rule of Law Program project, the initiative members have been collaborating with Destination Justice, a nongovernmental organization in Cambodia, to produce an annotated constitution and assist the English Language Based Bachelor of Law Program at the Royal University of Law and Economics with academic accreditation.

“It is fantastic to see the final product on paper after all the hours of work,” says Rolando Garcia Miron, JSD candidate who recently returned from a trip to Phnom Penh where he and several students working on the project participated in the launch of the English version of the book. While there, they also met with officials from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, Transparency International, the Handa Center, the European Union, and The Asia Foundation. The students also reported that they received positive feedback from faculty and staff at local universities such as the Royal University of Law and Economics and the National University of Management. The Constitutional Council, the Ministry of Justice, and the Cambodian Bar Association have also expressed interest in the book.

“It is exciting to know that this book will soon be used by legal practitioners all over Cambodia to help increase people’s knowledge of the constitution and advance its interpretation,” adds Lily McNamara Smith, JD ’18, who along with Donna Kim, JD ’18, and Yoomin Won, JSD candidate, has also been working on the project. The team is currently finalizing the translation of the Annotated Constitution to Khmer.

Rule of Law Cambodia
(from left to right): Rolando Garcia Miron (SLS JSD Candidate), Lily Smith (SLS 3L), Chloe Laskar (Destination Justice), Sophia Aspesi Areias (Transparency International Cambodia), Rodolphe Prom (Destination Justice), and Laurent Mesmann (Royal University of Law and Economics) This picture was taken in Phnom Penh, Cambodia during the presentation of the English version of the “Annotated Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia” last September. Those that attended the event included representatives of the various institutions that participated in the production of the book (including SLS). In addition, officials from the United Nations, the European Union, international NGO’s with offices in Cambodia, local NGO’s, Cambodian legal scholars, and members of the Cambodian legal community in general also attended the event.