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The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Latest Version in WIPO Lex
Year of Version 1999 Dates Entry into force: September 24, 1993 Adopted: September 21, 1993 Type of Text Constitution/Basic Law Subject Matter Other Notes Cambodia's current constitution, its third since the first monarchy constitution promulgated in 1947, was adopted on 21 September 1993 and amended on 6 March 1999. After many unusually drastic, changes of different types of governance under different regimes, the 1993 Constitution marked the establishment of a liberal democratic state and a market economy as the foundations of Cambodia's social, political and economic structure.

The Constitution does not contain provisions that specially refers to intellectual property rights (the primary rights including copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets). There are however a number of articles which recognize and guarantee the protection to the rights of citizens, the state and legal private properties.

The protection of rights of citizens are stipulated in the entire Constitution:
-Chapter II 'The King', Article 8 (protection of rights of citizens by the King)
-Chapter III 'Rights and Obligations of Khmer Citizens', Article 31(recognition and respect for human rights, right to exercise personal rights and obligation to respect the rights of others); Article 35 (right to participate actively in the economic, social and cultural life of the nation), Article 41 (freedom of expression, press and publication), Article 50 (obligations to respect legally acquired private properties)
-Chapter XI 'The Judiciary', Article 128 (protection of citizens' rights by judicial power)
-Chapter XVI 'Transitional Provisions', Article 158 (guarantee of law and standard documents related to safeguarding rights, freedom and legal private properties in conformity with the national interests)
-Chapter V 'Economy', Article 60 (illegal use of private properties without authorization).

Beside the guarantee of citizens' rights, the protection of State properties is generally specified in:
-Chapter V 'Economy', Article 58 (the control, use and management of State properties such as cultural centers
-Chapter XVI 'Transitional Provisions', Article 158 (guarantee of law and standard documents related to safeguarding state properties).

Furthermore, the Constitution contains specific provisions relating to the promotion of economic development in agriculture, handicrafts, industry and modern technology (Chapter V: Economy, Article 61) as well as to the promotion of production and protection of products (Chapter V, Article 62). It is also necessary to emphasize that the enforcement of intellectual property related rights are generally defined in Article 64 of Chapter V, which reads: 'The State shall ban and severely punish those who import, manufacture, sell illicit drugs, counterfeit and expired goods which affect the health and life of the consumers'.

The Constitution also specifies the protection of traditional cultural expressions guaranteed by the State (see Chapter VI 'Education, Culture and Social Affairs', Article 69 (preservation and promotion of national culture and Khmer language, ancient monuments, artifacts and historic sites)). It also clearly refers to punishment for any offense affecting cultural artistic heritage (Chapter VI, Article 70).

The English version of the Constitution of Cambodia is reproduced from the website of the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network (© ACE project, http://aceproject.org/ero-en/regions/asia/KH/Cambodian%20Constitution%201999.pdf/view?searchterm=Electoral%20Assistance).

Available Texts Main text(s) Main text(s) English The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia PDF HTML Khmer The Constitution of The Kingdom of Cambodia PDF

WIPO Lex No. KH009