Dispute Resolution Processes
Types of dispute resolution
The different types of dispute resolution available in Cambodia (e.g. litigation and arbitration) with a short description of each type of dispute resolution:
Overview of Cambodian Alternative Dispute Resolution System
Negotiation is the most common form of ADR in Cambodia that parties use to resolve disputes directly without assistance of a third party through compromise. Negotiation is allowed under Cambodian Law, for example, Article 20 of the above-mentioned Cambodian Investment Law when investment disputes happen.
Conciliation or mediation is part of Cambodian Culture and Legal system. Conciliation is traditionally conducted by the third party, namely a monk, an Achar (knowledgeable expert) or a (prominent) person the parties trust, and a King and formally it is conducted by a public officer appointed by the Government and the Judge. In practice, a settlement of disputes through the conciliation is conducted in daily life and people never think of criminal or civil cases. If it is not severe enough harm their interests they prefer compromise instead of bringing cases to the authorities or the Courts. According to the Cambodian legal framework, conciliation is permitted and found in various laws such as Code of Civil Procedures for Civil Case – see Code of Civil Procedures, Art 97, Labor Law (Labor disputes) – see Labor Law, Art.300-301, and 303 (1997), Land Law and Regulations (Land disputes) see Su-decree on the Organization and Functioning of the Cadastral Commission, Art 7-11 (2002), and Royal Decree on the Establishment of the National Authority of Land Dispute Resolution, Art 3 and Article 15 (2006), Law on Management and Administration of Commune and Sangkat Council, Law on Management and Administration of Capital, Provinces, Khans, Municipalities and districts [local conflict] so on.
This section briefly explains the Labor Arbitration and Commercial Arbitration in Cambodia.
Commercial arbitration has been functioning and governed by the 2006 Law on Commercial Arbitration 2006. Commercial Arbitration is operated under the National Arbitration Center but few cases have been handled by the center since its creation. Commercial Arbitration is voluntary but the arbitral award is binding. The enforcement of the arbitral award is made at the Courts under Code of Civil Procedure, section on Compulsory Execution – see Code of Civil Procedures, Art 350(h), Art 351(2) and Art 353.
Cambodia ratified the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in 1965 and later adopted the Law on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awardsin 2001 via the Royal Kram NS/RKM/0701/10 dated 23 July 2001. Therefore, foreign arbitral awards are enforceable under Cambodian Code of Civil Procedures – see Code of Civil Procedures, Art 353.
In addition, Cambodia ratified the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in 2001 via the Royal Kram NS/RKM/0601/08 dated 29 June 2001(13). ICSID provides facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes between Contracting States and nationals of other Contracting States.
(11) Carmen Maria Lopez Vasquez, Pre-Trial Dispute Resolution Process, 20 March, 1996, The Cambodian Development Research Institute (CDRI), p.9.
(12) See KONG Phallack, Labor Arbitration Council in Cambodia: Law and Practice: Cambodian Comparative Law, Year Book (first Publication), 2009, pp 163-171 or visit www.arbitrationcouncil.org
(13) The World Bank Group, http://www.worldbank.org/icsid/constate/c-states-en.html