Cambodia on the Brink: Towards the 2018 Elections

Public Conference


Prof The Hon Gareth Evans, Mu Sochua, Dr Lee Morgenbesser, Dr Lao Mong Hay and many more


Common Room, University House (1), Balmain Crescent, ANU


Friday, 9 March, 2018 - 08:30 to 15:30

The run up to Cambodia’s July 2018 elections has already seen the curtailment of political freedoms, an increase in politically motivated prosecutions, and the dissolution of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Hosted by the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific with support from the TIFA Foundation, this special forum brings together scholars and civil society to discuss the effects of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s crackdown, place the current crisis of democratic space in its historical context, and consider the possible ways forward for Cambodia. Ahead of Hun Sen’s visit to Australia for the upcoming 2018 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, expert speakers will also debate the most effective regional responses to growing authoritarianism.

Attendance is free of charge and open to the public. As seats are limited, registration is essential.

Conference Program

08:30-09:00 Registration & Coffee

09:00-09:15 Welcome

  • Conference Organisers

​9:15-09:30 Opening Remarks

  • Prof the Hon Gareth Evans, Chancellor, ANU

09:30-10:15 Session 1: Political Update
Presentation with Q&A moderated by Dr Nicholas Farrelly

  • Dr Lee Morgenbesser, Griffith University

10:15-10:45 Session 2: Politics on the Ground
Discussion and Q&A moderated by Dr Nicholas Farrelly, ANU

  • Mu Sochua, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Cambodia National Rescue Party
10:45-11:15 Morning Tea
11:15-12.15 Session 3: Regional Responses
Discussion and Q&A moderated by Aaron Connelly, Lowy Institute
  • Prof the Hon Gareth Evans, ANU
  • Leng Thearith, UNSW Canberra
  • Elaine Pearson, Human Rights Watch Australia
12:15-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:00 Session 4: Historical Legacies
Presentations with Q&A moderated by Dr Sarah Milne, ANU
  • Dr Lao Mong Hay, Political analyst
  • Dr Michael Sullivan, Researcher, Advisor to Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)
  • Dr Rebecca Gidley, ANU
14:00-15:00 Session 5: Civil Society Challenges
Discussion and Q&A moderated by Assoc Prof Sango Mahanty, ANU
  • Preap Kol, Transparency International Cambodia
  • Julia Wallace, Journalist
  • Billy Chia-Lung Tai, Human rights consultant
15:00-15:30 Concluding remarks
  • Hong Lim MP, Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural, Affairs and Asia Engagement, State MLA for Clarinda
  • Conference organisers
15:30-16:00 Afternoon Tea

Photo credit: Psar Kandal Market in Phnom Penh, via Flickr user Jonas Hansel, used under Creative Commons

Register now



Rebecca Gidley

Venue map

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team