The purpose of this law is to bring to trial senior leaders of Democratic The statute of limitations set forth in the Penal Code shall be extended for an. ECCC Law & Procedure. Agreement to Establish an Independent Counsellor (pdf ). Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers (pdf). Agreement. Negotiating History and Analysis of ECCC Law. The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia* by David Scheffer, Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman.
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ECCC Law & Procedure
Although it is a national court, it was established as part of an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nationsand its members include both local and foreign judges.
It is considered a hybrid court, as the ECCC was created by the government in conjunction with the UN, but remains independent of them, statutw trials held in Cambodia using Cambodian and international staff. The Cambodian court invites international participation in order to apply international standards. The remit of the Extraordinary Chambers extends to serious violations of Cambodian penal lawinternational humanitarian law and custom, and violation of international conventions recognized by Cambodia, committed during the period between 17 Ecc and 6 January This includes crimes against humanitywar crimes and genocide.
The chief purpose of the tribunal as identified by the Extraordinary Chambers is to provide justice to the Cambodian people who were victims of the Khmer Rouge regime’s policies between April and January However, rehabilitative victim support and media outreach for the purpose of national education are also outlined as primary goals of the commission.
InCambodia’s two Co-Prime Ministers wrote a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations requesting assistance to set up trial proceedings against the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge. After lengthy negotiations, an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations was reached and signed on 6 June The agreement was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.
In MayJustice Minister Ang Vong Vathana announced that Cambodia’s highest judicial body approved 30 Cambodian and United Nations stztute to preside over the long-awaited genocide tribunal for surviving Khmer Rouge leaders. The judges were sworn in early July In Junethe international Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit resigned from his assignment due to “personal and familial reasons”.
Cayley was appointed as new international Co-Prosecutor, and his Cambodian co-prosecutor is Ms. Under the agreement between Cambodia and the UN, the tribunal is to be composed of both local and international judges.
Due to Cambodia’s predominantly French legal heritage, investigations are performed by the Investigating Judges, who will conduct investigations and submit a closing order stating whether or not the case will proceed to trial.
Both the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Trial Chamber are composed of three Cambodian and two international judges, while a Supreme Court Chamber is made up of four Cambodian judges and three international judges. All international judges have been appointed by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy of Cambodia from a list of nominees submitted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. There are also Reserve judges who may be called upon to serve.
The current judges are: The role of the OCP is to prosecute the senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge and others most responsible for the crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea. The OCP is responsible for the prosecution of cases throughout the investigative, pre-trial, trial and appellate stages.
The OCP processes victim complaints; conducts the preliminary investigations first investigatory stage ; and issues Introductory Submissions to the Office of Co-Investigating Judges where there is sufficient evidence of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ECCC having been committed. Introductory Submissions set out the facts, applicable law, alleged offences, and person s to be investigated.
The OCP also participates in the judicial investigations second investigatory stagefiling Supplementary Submissions as necessary when new facts come to light and original allegations require additions or amendments. The Office of Co-Investigating Judges OCIJ undertakes pre-trial investigations of the facts alleged by the Co-Prosecutors in their Introductory and Supplementary Submissions to determine whether the person s under investigation are to be indicted and sent to trial, or whether the case against them should be dismissed.
The Defence Support Section DSS is responsible for providing indigent defendants with a list of lawyers who can defend them, for providing legal support and administrative support to lawyers assigned to represent individual defendants, and for promoting fair trial rights. The DSS also acts as a voice for the defence in the media and at outreach events, and organises a legacy program.
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The program provides an opportunity for Cambodian law students and lawyers to gain experience practicing international law in the hopes that the court will lead to a lasting improvement in the Cambodian legal system. The VSS is responsible for informing victims of their rights in the proceedings, and connecting them with legal representatives if they desire it. This support and protection can be either physical protection for providing key testimony, or emotion support in the form of psychiatric help and assistance.
The financial assistance will go primarily towards legal representation for the victims, effective legal participation, and information dissemination. Germany has donated in total 1. The Office of Administration oversees the Budget and Finance, Information and Communication Technology, Security and Safety, General Services, Public Affairs, and Personnel units of the ECCC and is responsible for supporting and facilitating the judicial process through the effective, efficient and coordinated provision of services.
Presently it has jurisdiction over certain crimes that violate the Penal Code of Cambodia, crimes under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocidegeneral crimes against humanitycrimes under the Geneva Conventions war crimescrimes under the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflictand crimes under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The Court, as with all other tribunals established by the United Nations, does not have the power to impose the death penalty. To date, three have been convicted and all sentenced to life imprisonment. Victims of the Khmer Rouge are defined as “any person or legal entity who has suffered from physical, psychological, or material harm as a direct consequence of the crimes committed in Cambodia by the Democratic Kampuchea regime between 17 April and 6 January that are under the jurisdiction of the ECCC”.
Victims have the opportunity to actively participate in judicial proceedings through Complaints and Civil Parties, and they can seek collective and moral reparation. The victims’ role is crucial since the tribunal is an important mechanism for them to cope with their trauma. The list below details the counts against each individual indicted in the Court and his or her current status.
The column titled CCL lists the number of counts if any of crimes under Cambodian law with which an individual has been charged. G the number of counts of the crime of genocideH the number of counts of crimes against humanityW the number of counts of war crimesDCP the number of counts of destruction of cultural property, and CAD the number of crimes against diplomats. Note that these are the counts with which an individual was indicted, not convicted.
He headed the Santebal —a special branch of the Khmer Rouge in charge of internal security and running prison camps. Kang Kek Iew was the first of the five brought before the tribunal. His hearings began on 17 September and concluded on 27 November Seven areas of relevance resurfaced frequently during Kang Kew Lew’s trial: His lieutenant Mam Naythe feared leader of the interrogation unit of the Santebal, gave testimony on 14 July and, although implicated in hands-on torture and execution along with Duch, he was not charged.
On 26 Julythe tribunal found Kang Kek Iew guilty of crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Initially, Kang Kek Iew was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. However, this was reduced owing to his illegal detention by the Cambodian Military Court between and and time already spent in the custody of the ECCC. Allegations against Nuon Chea include crimes against humanity murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation imprisonment, torture, persecution on political, racial, and religious groundsgenocide, and serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions of willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, willfully depriving a prisoner of war or civilian the rights of fair and regular trial, unlawful deportation or unlawful confinement of a civilian.
His charges included Phnom Penh’s S—the notorious interrogation and torture center. It is estimated that Nuon Chea is responsible for the death of 1. InNuon Chea reached an agreement with the Cambodian Government which allowed him to live near the Thai border. He was arrested and put into custody in His case, numberhas been under investigation since and hearings began in Sometimes I didn’t know what they were doing because I was in the assembly”.
On 7 Augusthe received a life sentence for crimes against humanity. Ieng Sary allegedly joined the Khmer Rouge in When the regime fell inIeng fled to Thailand and was convicted of genocide and sentenced to death by the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal of Phnom Penh. Ieng remained a member of the Khmer Rouge government in exile until when he was granted a royal pardon for his conviction and royal amnesty for this outlawing of the Khmer Rouge.
Ieng Sary was arrested on 12 November Allegations against Ieng Sary include crimes against humanity, genocide and breaches of the Geneva Convention. Ieng Sary died in March She studied in France and was the first Cambodian to receive a degree in English. Thirith remained with the Khmer Rouge until her husband, Ieng Sary, was pardoned by the Cambodian government in After, she and Sary lived together near Phnom Penh until both were arrested by Cambodian police and tribunal officials on 12 November Allegations against Thirith include crimes against humanity, genocide and breaches of the Geneva Convention.
In NovemberIeng Thirith was found to be mentally unfit to stand trial, due to Alzheimer’s disease. Ieng Thirith died in August Khieu Samphan acted as one of the Khmer Rouge’s most powerful officials.
Under threat of Sihanouk’s security forces, Samphan went into hiding in and emerged as a member of the Khmer Rouge in the early s. Khieu Samphan pledged allegiance to the Cambodian government in and left the Khmer Rouge.
He was arrested on 12 November for crimes against humanity, genocide and violations of the Geneva Convention. On August 7,he received life sentences for crimes against humanity. Former Khmer Rouge navy commander Meas Muth remains free despite the issuance of 2 outstanding arrest warrants. These arrest warrants have not been acted upon by police officials and Muth continues to live in relative peace in Battambang provincewhile his Caseas it is known, continues to be opposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The three Cambodian judges on the panel have defended their opposition by stating that an arrest “in Cambodian society, is regarded as humiliating and affecting Meas Muth’s honour, dignity and rights substantially and irremediably. In Junethe court experienced significant public controversy following the release of a public statement by International Co-Prosecutor Andrew Cayley criticising the Co-Investigating Judges for closing their investigation of Case prematurely, including an accusation that the judges were attempting to “bury” the case.
German Co-Investigating Judge Siegfried Blunk criticised Cayley’s statement as a violation of the court’s internal confidentiality rules. After Siegfried Blunk resigned from his job unexpectedly in March over the government’s statements opposing further prosecutions, it was said that while he was not influenced by political statements, “his ability to withstand such pressure by government officials to perform his duties independently, could always be called in doubt, and this would also call in doubt the integrity of the whole proceedings” of Cases and Judge Blunk had been a controversial figure since he assumed the seat of French judge Marcel Lemonde who resigned into investigate cases and After international co-investigating Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet Swiss left his job unexpectedly, it cast more doubt on the court’s ability to pursue more cases such as Case and against the ailing Khmer Rouge leaders.
Similar allegations of political pressure have been alleged in case Chaem ran a forced labor camp sttute a massive irrigation project in Preah Net Preah and Ta Ann and Ta Tith were two deputies who oversaw etatute in the camp.
Since then, Ta Statuye has become a wealthy businessman in Cambodia and Im Chaem has rccc a commune chief in Cambodia’s Anlong Veng District, further speculating political pressure would come to drop charges if these three were ever tried together.
As early as Novemberthe Defence Support Section attempted to assign lawyers to represent the interests of the suspects in Cases and The ECCC has received broad public support. As a result of extensive outreach initiatives, more thanpeople have observed or participated in the court’s proceedings. In Case36, people observed the trial and appeal hearings. In Casethe first trial involving multiple Khmer Rouge leaders, 98, people attended the day trial hearings. In addition, nearly 67, people from rural areas in Cambodia have attended ECCC community video screenings.
There are many criticisms involving the ECCC. For instance there has been significant controversy surrounding the closings of Case and Case Many international critics say these closings stem from a reluctance by the Cambodian government to try Khmer Rouge officials who sttaute to switch alliances towards the end of the conflict.
Furthermore, the ECCC has been criticized for its general stagnancy in relation to its finances. In financing the tribunal, the Cambodian government and the United Nations are both responsible for managing the cost of operations of the ECCC.