The European Union in the World The European Union's Assistance on Curbing Small Arms
and Light Weapons (EU ASAC) in the Kingdom of Cambodia
  home   |   gallery   |   

Arms law

Registration and Safe Storage

Public Awareness

Voluntary Weapons Collection

Weapons Destruction

Weapons Caches

Photo Gallery

Arms Law

The Arms Law (officially "Law of the Management of Weapons, Explosives & Ammunition") [1] is fundamental to protection of the civilian population from illegal arms and explosives. It is also a key instrument for the management and accountability for weapons use by police and military. Much of the strength of the law is that it declares private possession of weapons illegal. From 2000 to 2002 EU ASAC employed a part-time international legal consultant to assist the government in drawing the draft arms law. At various stages of drawing up the law there were consultations with civil society to get their reactions and further suggestions. This ended with a Round Table discussion between representatives of the National Commission for the Management and Reform of Weapons and Explosives in Cambodia, EU ASAC and civil society organisations in 2001. Because of this extensive debate the law had already achieved a broad national constituency and popular acceptance even before it was approved by the National Assembly on 26 April 2005. The new law replaces Sub-Decree 38 which was passed in 1999 [2] to replace the original UNTAC law of 1992 [3].

After the law had been passed EU ASAC further assisted the Ministry of the Interior by printing 20,000 copies of the new Arms Law for wide distribution throughout the country, particularly Police Posts and Commune Offices in all 1,621 Communes in the country. At the end of 2005 a further 100,000 pocket-sized copies of the Arms Law were given by EU ASAC to the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of the Interior for distribution to individual military and law enforcement officers. In June 2006 an additional 2006 copies were handed to the Ministry of Justice for distribution to all national, provincial and district courts and to Ministry of Justice investigating officers. EU ASAC also supported the Ministry of Defence in training over 850 officers in the implications of the new Arms Law between December 2005 and May 2006.

 Relevant Documentation
[1] The Arms Law, approved 26 April 2005
[2] Sub-Decree 38, April 1999
[3] UNTAC Law, September 1992
[4] Draft Arms Law, 2002
[5] Draft Arms Law, 2005
[6] Letter on Draft Arms Law from Prime Minister Hun Sen, January 2005
[7]  Study of the Draft Arms Law, May 2002, by Barbara van der Graaf

 TOP Link to top of page