Say you’re hit by a car, or a bathtub falls on you through the ceiling of your hotel. Is the driver or hotel owner at fault? What sort of compensation are you owed? The answers are a matter of tort law – “tort” being the French word for wrong.
So does Cambodia have a tort law? Good question, you’d be excused for answering no.
The correct answer is yes, but it’s not entitled “Tort Law”. The provisions are hidden away at the end of the Law on Contract and Other Liabilities, passed way back in 1988. The fourteen articles on “Other Liabilities” are fairly straightforward and barebones. The two main provisions are as follows:
Any person who causes damages to others by reason of his own fault, shall be liable in
compensation for such damage. Even where the damage is caused by involuntary acts such as
carelessness or negligence, the offender shall be liable.
Property owners shall be liable for damage caused to others if such damage is due to the owner
negligently failing to properly maintain, control or repair the property.
Those are the basic rules, and there isn’t much further guidance on the matter. All of this will be replaced when the Civil Code comes into place, hopefully sometime this year. So next time you’re hit by a car or crushed by a bathtub, remember the Contract Law and Other Liabilities…and hope the other guy is insured.