Lao Justice Officials Disciplined for Misconduct

By News Desk | Source: Vientiane Times
More than 10 justice officials were disciplined and reshuffled over the past year for misconduct involving abuses of power, Lao Minister of Justice Chaleun Yiapaoher, told parliament yesterday.

The minister made the comments in response to questions raised by National Assembly (NA) members at the ongoing fifth ordinary session of the NA’s Seventh Legislature.

Members queried Chaleun on how the ministry was taking action on court judgments after noting justice officials were often slow to carry out judges’ decisions.

NA members also observed there had been unfair treatment of people at the hands of justice officials in some cases and other incidents of officials showing double standards, calling on the minister to explain his employees’ behaviour.

Admitting the members’ claims were justified in some cases, Chaleun pledged to do the utmost in his capacity as minister to pursue better justice in society and discipline those abusing their power.

“Although facing many difficulties, I affirm that organisations in charge have done their best to implement the court’s judgments,” he told parliament.

Chaleun called for members to help oversee the performance of justice officials in relation to carrying out court decisions.

Accepting criticism of the long time it takes to process cases within the system, the minister said just 1,510 out of more than 11,000 cases judged by the courts and handed down to the ministry this fiscal year had been actioned by justice officials.

Of the 1,510 cases, nine sentences were not carried out according to the court’s decision, suggesting justice officials were at fault and were abusing their powers.

“Most cases have been implemented properly. Only very small numbers involve double standards and abuses of power,” Chaleun said.

The minister said in cases which had been improperly dealt with, the ministry has revoked the actions taken by officials and ordered that the correct action be taken in accordance with the original court judgment.

He said more than 10 officials had been reshuffled over the incidents, but he did not provide further details.

To accelerate the justice process, Chaleun told the NA the prime minister recently issued a Prime Ministerial Decree giving authority to officials to assess involved parties’ assets to deal with issues surrounding unpaid fines.

In addition, the ministry, the People’s Supreme Court, the People’s Supreme Prosecutor, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment will soon sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in carrying out judgments.