- IBJ provides access to high quality legal aid services to the poorest of the poor in 13 provinces.
- Through early access to counsel IBJ eliminates instances of torture or other inhumane treatment.
- IBJ conducts rights awareness campaigns to inform individuals of their legal rights and encourage them to claim these rights.
- Rights awareness campaigns demonstrate individual legal rights to counsel, to a fair trial, and to be free from torture.
- IBJ provides legal skills trainings to increase the capacity of Cambodia’s criminal defense lawyers.
Cambodia's legal system was completely destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Legal professionals were virtually driven into extinction as the regime systematically eliminated its "enemies." In the aftermath of Pol Pot's regime, those arrested had no access to justice and were left in prison indefinitely. The lack of legal representation also increased the likelihood of torture at the hands of prison officials.
Today, Cambodia continues to suffer from a significant shortage of lawyers and trained professionals. Permanent legal aid services are available in only 13 of the 24 provinces. Without adequate legal representation Cambodians are more likely to wait longer in jail for trial, dramatically increasing their risk of torture, abuse, and disease.
What we do
IBJ Country Facts
- Program established in 2006.
- 6 Defender Resource Centers providing legal protection across 13 provinces.
- Over 1,700 cases handled.
- 94 rights awareness campaign events directly reaching out over 4,000 individuals.
- 12 roundtable discussions with over 300 participants.
- 32 radio rights awareness campaigns reaching out to millions of Cambodians.
- 22 defender/justice-sector decision-maker joint trainings, with over 1,400 participants.
Four critical challenges have been identified to help create a functioning Legal Aid System:
- Increase the number of Defender Resource Centers to cover all 24 provinces.
- Further increase early access to counsel through agreements with local police officials.
- Continue capacity building and training of criminal defense lawyers and justice sector officials.
- Expand rights awareness campaigns to reach out to all individuals in Cambodia.