Planning and Leadership Now Needed at Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

The Open Society Justice Initiative has published a new position paper which looks at the challenges facing the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), as the first trial of two former senior Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, moves towards its conclusion. The Open Society Justice Initiative is calling on all involved with the court to display honest leadership and to respond appropriately to the evident constraints on time, funding and political support that it now faces.

The ECCC was established in 2004 by a joint agreement between the United Nations and the government of Cambodia, and uses a mix of international and local judges and staff. It began proceedings in 2007.

The tribunal has successfully completed one case, handing out a life prison sentence in February 2012 to the former head of the Tuol Sleng torture center.

The court’s co-investigating judges are also continuing to examine two further cases, known as Case 003 and 004, involving other senior Khmer Rouge figures, despite continued opposition from the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The Open Society Justice Initiative has been monitoring the work of the tribunal since 2007, as part of its work to ensure accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

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