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Researching Cambodian Law in English: Getting Started


In general, locating and then interpreting sources of Cambodian law can be challenging, particularly for English-speaking researchers.  Keep in mind that, when approaching a question related to Cambodian law (or foreign law generally), it is often advantageous to start with a secondary source.  There are several online guides in English that can serve as introductions to understanding and researching Cambodian law. These resources are listed at right.

The Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian Genocide

The following websites provide background and historical material related to the Khmer Rouge period. Note that a U.N.-backed tribunal (Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia) began hearing genocide cases in 2009.

Introductions to Cambodian Law and Researching Cambodian Law

There are several websites that provide introductions to Cambodian law and legal research.  Note that a number of U.S. law libraries offer webliographies for Cambodia.  Try Googling "legal research" and "Cambodia" to locate these pages.  See also the "Databases" tab for information on several commercial databases that also provide introductions and descriptions of Cambodian law and legal resources.

Cambodian Newspapers in English

The Cambodia Daily, which dates back to1993, is one of Cambodia's several English-language newspapers. Other English-language media include the Phnom Penh Post and the Cambodian Times

Online Translators

English translations of Cambodian legal materials are often difficult to locate and can be unreliable.  If authoritative English versions are not available, look for "official" translations that are created by, or for, a government organization. 

Many online translators are available on the WWW, but these should be used with caution since web translators do not generally include specialized legal or commercial vocabulary.  Online translators, however, may be of some help in getting the general sense of a document or passage. Google Translate will translate from Khmer to English. 


National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial (Chicago)

Part of this museum's working mission is to "remember the lives that were lost during the Khmer Rouge through cultural preservation, community enrichment, and genocide education."  The museum is located at 2831 W. Lawrence in Chicago.