Cambodia has been undergoing a seemingly continual metamorphosis over the last 200 years. During that time, the government has changed from the traditional Khmer feudal system; through periods of colonialism; independent self‐rule under a monarchy; republicanism; agrarian socialism during the horrendous Khmer Rouge period; socialism under the Vietnamese‐controlled government; and finally an evolving democratically‐elected government. Along with the changes in overall governance of Cambodia, there have been major changes in the control of its resources, particularly land. Cambodia’s economy has also undergone periods of radical transition, none more so than since 1993 with the surge towards free market operations. The major challenge for Cambodia is to establish the rule of law and create the effective property rights which are a prerequisite for a market economy. There now exists an opportunity for the Cambodian people to refine their legal system and other major institutions. Such changes cannot be made in isolation from the lessons and the legacies of the country’s history. Summarizes the history of land law and its related institutions in Cambodia and examines the implications of this history for the current state of land laws in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
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