What is the constitutional council?
  Composition and Organization
General Secretariat


The system of Constitutionality control did not exist in the history of Cambodia . The Constitution of May 6, 1947 , which had been modified successively until March 31, 1964 , provided for the competence to interpret constitutional text in its article 119 but did not state the constitutionality control. The competence to final interpretation was left to the National Assembly.

The Constitution of April 30, 1972 of the Khmer Republic set up a system of constitutionality control under the name of Constitutional Court . Despite its name, this body functioned completely apart from the judiciary power. This bore western influence.

The advent of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975 led to the massacre and the utter destruction of infrastructures and the rule of laws till the end of 1978.

After the liberation, January 7, 1979 , along with the reconstruction of the nation in all fields, the restoration of legislative system was active. The 1981 Constitution of the People's Republic of Kampuchea vested the law interpretation in the Council of State which did this in the status of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. The 1989 Constitution of the State of Cambodia provided for the law interpretation by the Permanent Committee of the National Assembly. But at that time, the interpretation of the Constitution and the control of the constitutionality did not exist.

The new Constitution, adopted September 21, 1993 by the Constituent Assembly which emerged from the election sponsored by the United Nations in 1993, was promulgated September 24, 1993 . Consequently, western influence returned. The new Chapter XII of the Constitution provides for the Constitutional Council. This recalls, in many respects, the French Constitutional Council.

However, there are differences from the French Constitutional Council, particularly, a posteriori control of constitutionality and public hearing of cases concerning general election. The public hearing is stipulated in the Law on General Election, promulgated December 26, 1997 .

This is to be noted that the 1993 Constitution has been amended five times :

  • the first time, July 14, 1994 concerning the delegation of power from the King's signature to the Acting Head of State.

  • the second time, March 8, 1999 , for the institution of Senate.

  • the third time, July 28, 2001 , for the creating and conferring national medals by the king.

  • the fourth time, June 19, 2005 , for the amendment of quorum of the session and the adopting vote of the National Assembly and the Senate.

  • the fifth time, March 09, 2006 , for the amendment of quorum of the session and the adopting vote of the National Assembly and the Senate.

  • Related Websites
    Association of Constitutional Courts Using the French Language
    World conference on Constitutional Justice

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