Ouk Vandeth is one of Cambodia’s leading public defenders. Originally a police commander, Vandeth has spent the past two decades fighting for justice and shifting the attitudes and culture within Cambodia’s criminal justice system. In 1995, Vandeth trained to become one of the country’s first defenders following the fall of the Khmer Rouge and subsequent civil war. In 1996 he worked as the only legal aid lawyer in Kandal province, from the first legal aid office in the country. In 2004 he became the Director of Legal Aid Cambodia where he continued to seek justice for those in conflict with the law. Joining Cambodia Bridges to Justice in 2007 as the Country Director, Vandeth continued educating judges and prosecutors about the role of a defender and eliminating torture as an investigative tool. He has increased access to justice in remote and rural areas, building a community of defenders that now provide legal aid throughout the country. Vandeth’s visionary approach has achieved a lot to change the attitudes and culture of access to justice in Cambodia, where the right to a lawyer is now an accepted part of the criminal justice system.

Ouk Vandeth will present at World Justice Challenge Finalists Showcase Access to Justice B