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Access to Justice / Cambodia

Training Workshop on Ways to Defend Defamation and Incitement Charges

Training Workshop on Ways to Defend Defamation and Incitement Charges
Natalie Matranga, Senior Consultant at Destination Justice delivering the training. (Source: Destination Justice)

Natalie Matranga, Senior Consultant at Destination Justice, delivering the training. (Source: Destination Justice)

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Destination Justice, in partnership with the East West Management Institute, is currently facilitating a series of training workshops for lawyers who provide legal aid services as part of Cambodia’s fledgling legal aid community. The three one-day workshops are designed to generate discussion about major issues lawyers face representing clients and to provide practical skills training to develop capacity for lawyers to represent clients in court.

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On 27 June, Destination Justice consultants Natalie Matranga and Madeleine Forster hosted the second workshop titled: techniques to defend journalists, human rights defenders and members of community sector organisations. This session built on the first workshop, hosted on 31 May, which explored defence strategies to assist victims of human rights and political abuses.

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The training combined an in-depth walkthrough of relevant sections of the Criminal Code with an overview of the international context, including the principles of freedom of expression and association. Discussion focused on the distinction between the separate offences of defamation established by the Criminal Code and the Press Law, and a breakdown of the individual elements required to sustain a charge of incitement. Lawyers shared their experiences working on high profile cases under a range of laws that have the potential to limit freedom of expression and association.

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Like the first workshop the event included a significant practical component. Lawyers participated in a hypothetical case study, presenting arguments and working in groups to develop submissions.

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Guest Speaker, Oudom Tat, Cambodian photojournalist speaking about his experiences working in a profession that engages questions of freedom of expression (Source: Destination Justice)

Guest Speaker, Oudom Tat, Cambodian photojournalist speaking about his experiences working in a profession that engages questions of freedom of expression (Source: Destination Justice)

Lawyers also heard from Mr Oudom Tat, a young Cambodian photojournalist from the Voice of Democracy, who shared his insights on the challenges that journalists face in reporting and protecting confidentiality of sources. Oudom Tat was nominated as a finalist for his film on the Cambodian sector at the 2013 German Development Media Awards.

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The third workshop in this series is set to be hosted in August, and will focus on techniques to assist people in relation to land rights claims.

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For more information please contact Madeleine Forster: mforster@destinationjustice.org

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