Monday, July 19, 2010

Arbitrating LEL Disputes in Cambodia

Pp I just returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from three days in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where I spoke at Pannasastra University and met with folks at the Arbitration Council Foundation.  Folks at the Arbitration Council there are exploring the option of "privatizing" the arbitration of labor and employment disputes, much as it is in the U.S.  Their motive is not ideological, but practical.  The Arbitration Council has successfully resolved employment disputes for the last several years (most awards are made within 15 days of the arbitrators receiving the submission!), and is vastly preferable to the court system which is at best slow and is often corrupt.  However, funding for the Council depends entirely on external grants, those grants run dry in 2012, and the government does not have the funds to turn the Arbitration Council into a public entity.  The only way to keep arbitration in the picture is to find a way for the parties to pay for it.

Here's a typical street scene from Phnom Penh, where the motorbike drivers are absolutely nuts.


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