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Constitutional Council of Cambodia

What is the constitutional council?

* It is a supreme institution stipulated in the 1993 Constitution to guarantee the respect of the Constitution, and to interpret the Constitution and the laws adopted by the National Assembly and completely reviewed by the Senate, and to examine and decide on litigations related to the elections of the Members of the National Assembly and to the elections of the Senators.

* This Institution has been effectively functioning since June 15, 1998 , the first time in the history of Cambodia .

* The Constitutional Council is composed of one President and 8 members. The President is elected by a college of 9 Councillors at the absolute majority. The election of the President would take place every three years after the three new members come into office. The President has rank and prerogatives equal to those of the President of the National Assembly. Members have rank and prerogatives equal to those of the Vice-President of the National Assembly. The normal mandate of the members is 9 years, but a third of members are replaced every 3 years. For the first mandate, some members are appointed or elected for a term of 3, 6, and 9 years respectively. 3 members are appointed by the King while the National Assembly and the Supreme Council of Magistracy would elect 3 members each. All members are selected among the high personalities, Khmer by birth, aged at least 45 years old, graduated from higher education in the fields of law, administration, diplomacy and economy, and having at least 15 years of professional experiences.  

     * As a principle, the Constitutional Council cannot examine any matter on its own initiative. Only can request the Constitutional Council to examine the constitutionality of the law :

     • The King, the President of the Senate, the President of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, one fourth of the senators, one tenth of the members of the National Assembly, or the Court;

     • People and political parties submitting the requests or lodging the complaints under the following conditions.

The King and the Constitutional Council

     * The King consults the Constitutional Council on all proposals to amend the Constitution.

     * The initiative to review or to amend the Constitution shall be the prerogative of the King, the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, at the proposal of one fourth of all its members.

 

The Constitutional Council and the Citizens

   * Citizen, party to legal proceeding, can raise the question of unconstitutionality of the law or decision of state institutions such as Royal decrees, subdecrees, prakas , and other administrative decisions. The lower jurisdiction shall submit the complaint to the Supreme Court. Should the Supreme Court find the complaint valid, it shall forward the complaint to the Constitutional Council. The question raised is called the interlocutory question . The court in charge of the trial shall suspend its hearing and wait for the answer of the Constitutional Council.
     In this case, the Constitutional Council helps examine the constitutionality of the law for the people.

      * Citizens have the right to raise, outside the court case, the constitutionality of a law with the Constitutional Council through the President of the Senate, the President of the National Assembly, one fourth of the senators or one tenth of the National Assembly members.

    * During the elections of the members of the National Assembly and of the Senate, the Constitutional Council rules on the complaints of the citizens contesting the decisions of the National Election Committee (N.E.C.).

The Constitutional Council and Political Parties

      * The Constitutional Council examines and decides on the complaint of a political party concerning the refusal of its registration by the Ministry of Interior.

       * During the elections of the members of the National Assembly and of the Senate, the Constitutional Council examines and decides on the direct complaint from any political party within 72 hours after the proclamation of the provisional results of the elections or on the complaint in appeal from a political party contesting the decisions of the National Election Committee (N.E.C.).

       * The Constitutional Council has the competence to rule on litigations related to the elections of the members of the National Assembly and those of the members of the Senate, on the complaints concerning the initial electoral rolls at the time of the electors' registration and on the complaints occurred during the electoral campaign. In this case, the Constitutional Council acts as a Court.

The Constitutional Council Interprets

      * The Constitutional Council interprets the Constitution and the laws, in the framework of the examination of the constitutionality, when requested by the King, the President of the Senate, the President of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, one fourth of the senators, one tenth of the National Assembly members or by the court (for promulgated laws only).

       * Within the above mentioned conditions, the Constitutional Council can examine the constitutionality of the laws before or after their promulgation, except the organic laws, the rules of procedures of the Senate and of the National Assembly which shall be examined before their promulgation (or their implementation).

The Constitutional Council and the National Sovereignty

      * The Constitutional Council is the only competent institution having the authority to nullify any vote by the National Assembly that is contrary to the principle of safeguarding the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and that undermines the political unity or the administrative management of the nation.

      * The decisions of the Constitutional Council are final without recourse and have authority over all instituted powers stipulated in the Constitution.

Achievements

Since the past 10 years, the Constitutional Council has realized, as followed :

Year

Consultation or requests

Electoral

litigation

Interpretation of the Constitution and laws

Constitutional review

Rejection for incompetence or legal form

1998

01

17

 

 

04

1999

 

 

02

12

01

2000

 

 

02

02

05

2001

01

 

02

05

02

2002

 

 

03

01

04

2003

02

11

04

01

05

2004

 

 

01

09

03

2005

03

01

01

04

01

2006

01

05

 

11

01

2007

01

03

 

03

02

2008

01

09

 

02

13

2009

 

 

03

 

04

2010 1

 

 

03

02

03

Total

10

46

21

52

48

 

International relationship

         The Constitutional Council has been a member of the A.C.C.P.U.F. (Association of Constitutional Courts Sharing the Use of French language) since 1998.

Organization of the Secretariat General
of the Constitutional Council

         The Secretariat General of the Constitutional Council, under the directives of the President of the Constitutional Council, is administered by a Secretary-General, assisted in his activities by a Deputy Secretary-General. The Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General shall have the rank and prerogatives of Secretary of State and Undersecretary of State respectively.

        The Secretary-General manages the administrative works of the Constitutional Council under the instruction of the President of the Constitutional Council.

        The Secretary-General could be authorized by the President of the Constitutional Council to sign the administrative letter or decision.

How to contact the Constitutional Council ?

* Spokesmen :

     - H.E.Mr. PENN THOL
       Member of the Constitutional Council
       Tel: 012 971 397
       E-mail :
pennthol@online.com.kh

     - H.E.Mr. PROM NHEAN VICHETH
       Member of the Constitutional Council
       Tel : 012 998 398
       E-mail :
nheansopheap@online.com.kh

* Secretariat General  :

       - Secretary-General                    Tel : 012 819 878 / 023 726 031
       - Deputy Secretary-General        Tel : 011 893 982 / 023 726 028
       •  Tel : (855) 23-720 912
       •  Fax :
(855) 23-726 031 / 23-720 912
       •  E-mail : sgccc@online.com.kh / info@ccc.gov.kh
       •  Website : http://www.ccc.gov.kh
       •  P.O.Box 2473 Phnom Penh3, Cambodia

* Published Documents :
       •  Bulletin of the decisions of the Constitutional Council
       •  Historical accounts and activities of the Constitutional Council
       •  General Presentation

1- This figure only until March 19, 2009


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Telephone (855 )23 726 012
Fax ( 855 )23 726 031, ( 855 )23 720 912/ E-mail: info@ccc.gov.kh