What rules for the Cambodian "model"?

20 November 2006 by THIERRY CRUVELLIER and Anne-Laure Porée

On 20 November, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) were to welcome the comments of non-governmental organizations on its draft internal rules. In a move of rare transparency, the tribunal responsible for trying former Khmer Rouge leaders made the document public and open to suggestions. The ECCC are scheduled to adopt the final version of the rules on 25 November. Both in terms of procedure and victims' representation, the new Cambodian "model" is already shaping up to be an unprecedented experience in international criminal justice.

The ECCC have not been completely immune to the democratic breakdown which has affected all of the contemporary international tribunals, where the judges, not without excess, become legislators in their own jurisdiction. Lacking a clear legal framework, especially since the Cambodian government's legal reform project has gathered dust for months, the Cambodian and international judges appointed to the ECCC have, to be sure, been forced to consider that in order to function, their tribunal must have rules of procedure adapted to their jurisdiction. In July they set up a drafting committee and on 3 November, they made their draft rules public, giving Civil Society organizations two weeks to submit comments and suggestions. Without a formal assembly, the initiative demonstrates an interest in transparency, which already sets them apart from their peers in other international jurisdictions. That consultation, tells co-investigating judge Marcel Lemonde, a member of the rules committee "was conceived from day one. It was very important for the process to be carried out transparently. It was a policy choice, and naturally stood out as the solution.

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

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.