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Another Commercial Arbitration Center Planned

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When disputes happen it’s better to work them out than go to court. AFP

The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce has discussed the possibility of establishing arbitration and a mediator to solve commercial conflicts in Cambodia’s business community, where every conflict now ends up in the court system.
 
Secretary General of the chamber Nang Sothy told Khmer Times last Friday after his team wrapped up discussions on establishing arbitration in the commercial sector, that it would be used to facilitate and mediate in small or big conflicts between its commercial members nationwide.
 
“Now every conflict [in commerce] is solved by the court system, which often takes a long time and costs a lot of money,” Mr. Sothy said, adding that establishing arbitration is also key because Cambodia does not yet have a commercial court, which many other countries already have.
 
Mr. Sothy said that after the government establishes a national arbitration center it will help the chamber of commerce, which is the main association for commercial enterprise in the country.
 
He added that most businessmen prefer not to solve their conflicts in court, so this arbitration center will be established soon and will work in two ways. The first step will be to work as a mediator in conflicts and the second step will be to use internal regulations to solve conflicts.
 
Law and commerce experts said solving commerce conflicts in Cambodia have been done at the levels of commune chiefs and police, and in most cases the parties prefer to take their cases to court which costs a lot of money and takes a long time.
 
“Now we are working with experts in arbitration and we hope the arbitration body will be established soon,” he said.
 
The National Commerce Arbitration Center, which is under the Ministry of Commerce, was established in 2013. But its services for solving commercial conflicts outside the court system have not been popular.
 
Ros Manin, the president of NCAC, said the establishment of more arbitration in this sector would be seen as competition.
 
“Now I don’t know about the new arbitration because it is not yet established. But if it offers the same service, it would be in competition with the old one,” he said.
 
In an interview with Khmer Times in March, Mr. Manin said he does not want to do any comparison on who is bad or who is good because his body has its own regulations to work with and the courts are based on the rule of law.
 
“What we are trying to do is show that any cases we work on get resolved in an acceptable way by both of the parties in conflict based on our professionalism and the way we work,” Mr. Manin said.
 
He said his arbitration center so far receive a case regarding a conflict over renting some land. However, he added, both parties could not agree in using his institution to resolve the case, so they decided to withdraw.
 
Chin Malin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, welcomed the plan to establish the new arbitration center to resolve commercial conflicts. He said that more arbitration will provide choices for businessmen to choose in helping them solve the conflicts.
 
Mr. Malin said that using arbitration will help facilitate the court’s work, especially for businessmen who do not want to spend much time or money going through the court. Mr. Malin said some businessmen prefer to resolve cases outside the court system.
 
He said results judged by a court or arbitration are equally recognized.
 
“It depends on both of the parties, whether to choose court or arbitration for their cases.”

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