Expert conference

Constitutionalism in Cambodia - Comparative Asian Perspective

The current state of constitutionalism in Cambodia and selected Asian states

KAS Cambodia will host the 15th Law Talk on Constitutionalism in Cambodia and selected Asian states. The Law Talk will question the relevance of constitutions as a legal framework enshrining core principles as democracy, rule of law and human rights.


To assist in the establishment of a sound legal system is one of the main purposes of Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Cambodia. The objective of KAS Law Talk Forums is to contribute to a lively and fruitful debate among experts from theoretic and practical fields across generations.

In order to fill up the legal vacuum that was left behind by the Khmer Rouge Regime after 1979 it is important to revive the debate about legislation in the academic sector as well as among policymakers. In order to do so the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation aims to provide the necessary platform to relevant stakeholders.

The 15h KAS Law Talk will deal with Cambodian Constitutionalism. Legal experts from Cambodia and various other countries will use the opportunity to exchange their knowledge, their experiences and their opinions on the issue.

The current Cambodian constitution is the superior legal framework from which the principles of the rule of law, human rights, democracy and the division of powers derive. Further the constitutional frame defines the role of institutions, the state organization, the functioning of the electoral system as well as the responsibilities of the political parties in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

However constitutional reality still differs from the formal provisions in many cases. In particular in politics, societal issues and economy constitutional rights often lack of implementation. These three sectors will be in focus at the 15th KAS Law Talk.

The two presentations on the first day (24th of February) will provide a detailed perspective on Cambodian and Southeast Asian constitutionalism. First His Royal Highness Prince Norodom Sirivudh, member of the Cambodian Constitutional Council will share his experience in legislation and speak about the implementation of the rule of law in Cambodia, in particular the role of the Constitutional Council as a promoter. Following Dr. Kevin Tan from the National University of Singapore will speak about fractures and continuities in Southeast Asian constitutionalism.

The Saturday (25th of February) will start with a presentation by Prof. Dr. h. c. Rudolf Rudolf Mellinghoff, president of the German Federal Fiscal Court and former judge at the Constitutional Court of Germany. He will point out the importance of the constitution with regard to the protection of fundamental rights and political freedoms. The following session will consist of the first penal discussion on the process and the challenges of constitutional legislation in Myanmar, Vietnam and Nepal.

During the second session the various knowledgeable speakers will put in focus the development of Cambodia with regard to social, political and economic rights under Cambodian constitution. The session will include a panel discussion as well as a discussion with the plenum.

Based on the information and data provided by the speakers, there will follow a group working phase, in which actual challenges and solutions shall be identified.

After the results of the group working phase are presented, the last day (26th of February) will provide the opportunity for all participants to discuss ways and means to strengthen constitutionalism in Cambodia.

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Siem Reap


René Gradwohl

René Gradwohl bild

Head of Kas office in Cambodia +855 23 996 170 +855 23 213 364

Saroeun Mom

Saroeun Mom

Senior Programme Manager +855 87 880 996

Provided by

Cambodia Office