Speaking of parallels, a number of Cambodia watchers have ventured an analysis as to the period of development the Cambodian judicial system is in now relative to that of the West. I have recently come across a most curious description of the French judicial system circa 1300-1400s written by an author in 1915. The following excerpt is particularly illustrative on the point:
"[T]he system of salability had the result of favoring the old practice of judicial fees [...]. About the end of the 1300s gold and silver were substituted in the place of presents in kind, and from being optional, judicial fees became obligatory (1395-1402). The judges had no legal claim to enforce the payment of fees; the suitor handed them to the recorder after the decision, and the total amount was divided among the judges after each session according to the number and importance of the cases which they had decided. The exorbitant price of the judicial offices and the extreme smallness of the salaries the judges received did not at all justify the collection of these fees, but they explained the practice and constituted extenuating circumstances in favor of the old magistracy" (Jean Bissaud, A History of French Public Law, 461 (1915)).
Now we have an answer to this perennial question: Relative to France, the Cambodian judicial system is now somewhere in the 1300-1400s.