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8631695570_e9b908926a_bWith crowded streets and poor enforcement of regulations, road safety is a critical concern in Cambodia. Every year, more than 2,000 people die and over 15,000 are injured on the country’s roads. A coalition of road safety advocates recently called on the Government to pass mandatory comprehensive helmet laws.

Kim Pagna, Country Director of Asia Injury Prevention Foundation Country Director says:

“Motorcycle helmets are proven to reduce the risk of serious injury by 69 percent and of death by 42 percent in a crash, but while motorcycle driver helmet wearing rates are more than 60 percent, fewer than 10 percent passengers wear helmets.”

Economic development means more vehicles on the roads, which means more accidents. Part of the solution is legislative, as the advocates are urging. Unless serious measures are taken to improve the physical infrastructure as well as driving habits, this problem is only going to get worse.

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imagesWe had the honor of serving yesterday as a judge for the National Moot Court Competition of Cambodia, organized by East-West Management Institute. A moot court is essentially a play trial, where law students prepare a case and argue it in front of a play-judge. This year’s trial involved criminal charges against a man involved in a drunken fight in a Phnom Penh beer hall. A sadly not uncommon fact pattern.

EWMI has been supporting this competition for a number of years now, and the passion and seriousness of the law students is second to none. This is a BIG DEAL for the teams, and a championship brings a lot of pride to the school.

Law students get to experience what it is like to argue a case in front of judges and a live audience. It also trains them in cross-examination techniques and how to think on their toes.

Congratulations goes to this year’s winner, the Royal University of Law and Economics, runners-up National University of Management, and all the contestants!

What do pirated software and t-shirt have in common? More than you might think.

The Information and Communications Technology Business Association of Cambodia is drawing attention to an important issue for garment exporters to consider: their shipments to the USA might be blocked and they could be fined if they are using pirated software.

A number of American states have passed what are known as Unfair Competition Acts that can be used to block the importation of manufactured goods that have made in factories using pirated software. The rationale behind the law is that by not paying licensing fees for the software, these factories can undercut factories in the US that have to pay for their software. The laws are thus meant to protect US industry from this type of unfair competition.

The ICT Business Association recently sent a letter informing the over 300 garment factories in Cambodia of the issue. Pily Wong, President of the association said in a statement:

Garment is one of the largest industry in Cambodia and software piracy rate is very high in the country. Thus, we see a potential risk that the US garment customers stop ordering from the Kingdom in order to avoid short supply because US customs are confiscating and destroying all the products coming from Cambodia. Cambodia is maybe not enforcing IPR in the country, but US Authorities are definitely very active and one day or another, some factories from Cambodia will get hit. Cambodia is exporting billions worth of products to USA every year and over a million jobs in the Kingdom are at stake, we need the garment factories to be compliant in order to protect their business and their workers. Hopefully GMAC will follow up and play a more active role in informing their members about official regulations which may affect their operations and in providing them good advices about compliance.

A factory in China, and another one in India, have already been hit with a lawsuit in California. More suits are likely to follow, and it is possible that a Cambodian exporter is next in line. By conducting an audit of their IT systems and seeking legal advice, factories can ensure they’re in compliance with these laws and ensure access to the US market.

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The work of a handful of attorneys at BNG Legal, this blog's mission is to keep the world up-to-date on legal issues in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Questions and feedback can be emailed directly to us at info@bnglegal.com.

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