Phnom Penh court accused of poor management

08 October 2007 by Erika Kinetz

Despite some recent progress, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has come under bracing public scrutiny for administrative and leadership failures on both the national and international sides of this unique hybrid tribunal. Two stark assessments — one by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the other by two UN experts — have leaked out to the public over the last two weeks and put the tribunal under increasing pressure to reform.

It took about eight years to hammer out the structure of the ECCC, and haggling over the court's procedural rules, which consumed seven months of the tribunal's three-year mandate, has made plain to international participants that Cambodians are serious about their sovereignty. So it remains to be seen how much reassurance donors will demand in exchange for pledging additional funds to the cash-strapped tribunal. A fundraising campaign, likely to call for more than $30 million, is scheduled to begin later this month. The US, which has long withheld funding on the grounds that the tribunal isn't up to international standards, is also actively considering initiating funding.

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