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.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

19 February 2007 by Laetitia Grotti

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

11 September 2006 by our correspondent in Arusha

After having tried high-ranking officers, ministers, businessmen, priests, journalists, local officials and militiamen, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is in uncharted waters. On September 11, the most famous rwandese troubadour of his generation will stand trial for genocide. 

23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.